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FRIEDRICH 
N I ETZSCHE 



Translated by 
Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale 

Edited by Walter Kaufmann 

A VINTAGE GIANT 


THE WILL 
TO 

POWER 


-30P»- 


FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE 


A New Translation 
by 

WALTER KAUFMANN 
and 


R. J. HOLLINGDALE 


— — c^ig>»- ■ 

Edited, with Commentary, 
by 

WALTER KAUFMANN 

with Facsimilies of the Original Manuscript 



Vintage Books '^0 new YORK 
A DIVISION OF RANDOM HOUSE 



for 

MARTHA LINDE 
1881-1966 


vintage books EDITION, September, 1968 

© Copyright, 1967, by Walter Kaufmann 

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American 
Copyright Conventions. Published in New York by 
Random House, Inc. 

Acknowledgment is made to the Nationale Forschungs- und 
Gedenkstdtten der Klassischen Deutschen Literatur in Weimar 
for permission to reproduce eight facsimile pages from the 
original manuscript. 

Manufactured in the United States of America 
9E8 



CONTENTS 


Neither the table of contents nor the headings in the text are Nietz- 
sche’s; both were introduced by the German editors to create the 
impression of a major systematic work. They are retained here with 
minor modifications to assist those who want to locate notes discussing 
particular problems. 

See also the comprehensive index, made especially for this edition. 


editor’s introduction xiii 

on the editions of The Will to Power xxvii 

CHRONOLOGY OF NIETZSCHE’S WORKS XXXi 

facsimiles from Nietzsche’s manuscript 

NIETZSCHE’S PREFACE 3 

BOOK ONE. EUROPEAN NIHILISM 

I. Nihilism 9 

II. History of European Nihilism 40 

BOOK TWO. CRITIQUE OF 


THE HIGHEST VALUES HITHERTO 
I. Critique of Religion 


1 . Genesis of Religions 85 

2. History of Christianity 98 

3. Christian Ideals 127 

II. Critique of Morality 

1. Origin of Moral Valuations 146 

2. The Herd 156 

3. General Remarks on Morality 162 

4. How Virtue is Made to Dominate 170 

5. The Moral Ideal 180 

A. Critique of Ideals 180 

B. Critique of the “Good Man,” the Saint, etc. 191 



X CONTENTS 

C. Disparagement of the So-Called Evil Qualities 197 

D. Critique of the Words: 

Improvement, Perfecting, Elevation 210 

6. Further Considerations for a Critique of Morality 215 

III. Critique of Philosophy 

1. General Observations 220 

2. Critique of Greek Philosophy 23 1 

3. Truth and Error of Philosophers 247 

4. Further Considerations for a Critique 

of Philosophy 253 


BOOK THREE. PRINCIPLES OF 
A NEW EVALUATION 

I. The Will to Power as Knowledge 


1. Method of Inquiry 261 

2. The Epistemological Starting Point 262 

3. Belief in the “ Ego The Subject 267 

4. Biology of the Drive to Knowledge. Perspectivism 272 

5. Origin of Reason and Logic 276 

6. Consciousness 283 

7. Judgment. True — False 286 

8. Against Causalism 293 

9. Thing-in-Itself and Appearance 300 

10. Metaphysical Need 307 

11. Biological Value of Knowledge 322 

12. Science 324 

II. The Will to Power in Nature 

1. The Mechanistic Interpretation of the World 332 

2. The Will to Power as Life 341 

A. The Organic Process 341 

B. Man 347 

3. Theory of the Will to Power and of Values 366 

III. The Will to Power as Society and Individual 

1. Society and State 382 

2. The Individual 403 

IV. The Will to Power as Art 419 



CONTENTS Xi 

BOOK FOUR. DISCIPLINE AND BREEDING 

I. Order of Rank 

1. The Doctrine of Order of Rank 457 

2. The Strong and the Weak 459 

3. The Noble Man 493 

4. The Masters of the Earth 500 

5. The Great Human Being 504 

6. The Highest Man as Legislator of the Future 509 

II. Dionysus 520 

III. The Eternal Recurrence 544 

appendix: Commentary on the facsimiles 551 


INDEX 


558 



A Note on This Edition 

For the present volume I enlisted as a collaborator R. J. Hollingdale, 
author of Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy (University of 
Louisiana Press, 1965). I made a new translation of Book I, and he 
furnished new translations of Books II, III, and IV, which I sub- 
sequently corrected and revised very extensively, after comparing them 
with the original German, sentence for sentence. I am also responsible 
for the notes and the editorial apparatus — indeed, for the volume as a 
whole. 


W. K. 



Editors Introduction 


1 

the will to power is a very famous and interesting book, but 
its stature and its reputation are two very different things. Indeed, 
the nature and contents of the book are as little known as its title 
is familiar. In a way this is odd because the book has been so 
widely cited and discussed; but in the history of ideas one finds 
perpetually that Hegel was right when he said in the preface to 
his first book: “What is well-known is not necessarily known merely 
because it is well-known.” 

Two false views of The Will to Power have had their day, in 
turn. The first was propagated by Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche, the 
philosopher’s sister, when she first published the book after his 
death: for a long time, it was widely held to represent Nietzsche’s 
crowning systematic achievement, to which one had to turn for his 
final views. Alfred Baumler began his postscript to the handy one- 
volume edition of the work (Kroner’s Taschenausgabe, 1 vol. 78, 
1930): “The Will to Power is Nietzsche’s philosophical magnum 
opus. AH the fundamental results of his thinking are brought to- 
gether in this book. The aversion of its author against systematizers 
must not deter us from calling this work a system.” Philosophically, 
Baumler was a nobody, but the editions of Nietzsche’s works for 
which he wrote his postscripts were the most convenient and least 
expensive and read very widely. Being a Nazi, Baumler was called 
to Berlin as professor of philosophy after Hitler came to power. 
His ideas about Nietzsche were accepted not only by large numbers 
of Germans but also by many of Nietzsche’s detractors outside 
Germany. Ernest Newman, for example, admits in the fourth 
volume of his Life of Richard Wagner (1946) that his account 
of Nietzsche relies heavily on Baumler’s “masterly epitome of 
Nietzsche’s thinking, Nietzsche, Der Philosoph und Politiker ” 2 
(p. 335). 

After World War II this view of The Will to Power was dis- 


1 Literally, Kroner’s pocket edition: an inexpensive hard-cover series of 
books of scholarly interest. 

a, *The Philosopher and Politician [aic],” published in 1931. 




XIV THE WILL TO POWER 

credited along with the Nazis; and in the process the book itself 
was discredited, too. The gist of the new view was that The Will 
to Power is not worth reading at all. The man who has done more 
for this new myth than anyone else is Karl Schlechta, whose edi- 
tion of Nietzsche’s works in three thin-paper volumes (Werke in 
drei Bdnden, 1954-1956) created something of an international 
sensation — particularly the third volume with its odd handling of 
The Will to Power and its lengthy “Philological Postscript.” A 
passage from the postscript makes clear what is at stake: "The 
Will to Power contains nothing new, nothing that could surprise 
anyone who knows everything N published or intended to pub- 
lish” (p. 1,403). 

This is as untenable as Baumler’s view: the book contains 
a good deal that has no close parallel in the works Nietzsche fin- 
ished; for example, but by no means only, much of the material 
on nihilism in Book I, some of the epistemological reflections in 
Book III, and the attempts at proofs of the doctrine of the 
eternal recurrence of the same events — and scores of brilliant 
formulations. But Schlechta’s express view matters much less 
than what he did to The Will to Power; and matters are further 
complicated by the fact that what he did and what he said he 
did are two different things. 

He did away with the systematic arrangement of the older 
editions and with the title The Will to Power and offered the 
material in his third volume under the heading "Aus dem Nachlass 
der Achtzigerjahre, ,> that is, “From the unpublished manuscript 
material of the eighties.” And he claimed that his arrangement was 
faithful to the manuscripts and chronological ( manuskriptgetreu - 
chronologisch, p. 1,393), although in fact it is neither. 

This question cannot be avoided here because it would be 
unscholarly and perverse to reproduce the old systematic arrange- 
ment in this translation if a far superior arrangement of the material 
had been made available in 1956. But Schlechta’s arrangement is 
utterly pointless, and indeed explicable only as an over-reaction 
against the Baumler view: it represents an attempt to render The 
Will to Power all but unreadable. 

Suppose, first of all, Schlechta’s arrangement did follow the 
manuscripts faithfully; even then it could not claim to be chrono- 
logical. For as Schlechta himself notes in passing in his postscript 
(p. 1,396), Nietzsche had the habit of using over and over old 
notebooks that had not yet been completely filled, and of writing 



editor’s introduction 


XV 


in them now from the front toward the back, now from the back 
toward the front; and sometimes he filled right-hand pages only, 
at other times left-hand pages only. And Erich Podach claims in 
Ein Blick in Notizbiicher Nietzsche’s (“A Glance into Nietzsche’s 
Notebooks,” 1963) that “Nietzsche as a rule used his notebooks 
from back to front” (p. 8). Plainly, an arrangement that was 
really faithful to the manuscripts would not be an arrangement at 
all, but simply chaotic — and almost literally unreadable. 

Moreover, Podach shows in the same book (pp. 202-206) 
that Schlechta did not always follow the manuscripts (see my 
notes on sections 2 and 124 below). Nor did Schlechta merely 
fail to consult the manuscripts, using the printed text of the stand- 
ard edition instead; he did not even make a point of consulting 
the twenty-odd pages of notes at the end of the 1911 edition 
where scores of departures from the manuscripts are registered. 

Even if it is granted that by taking these departures into 
account the present translation is philologically preferable to 
Schlechta’s edition, it may seem odd that the old systematic 
arrangement has been followed here once again. There are two 
reasons for this. First, for all its faults, this arrangement has the 
virtue of making it easy for the reader to locate passages and to 
read straight through a lot of notes dealing with art or religion 
or the theory of knowledge. Provided one realizes that one is 
perusing notes and not a carefully wrought systematic work, the 
advantages of such an arrangement outweigh the disadvantages. 
But would it not have been possible to improve the systematic 
arrangement? This brings us to the second reason for following 
the old editions: there is something drastically wrong with schol- 
arly translations that are not based on, do not correspond to, and 
cannot be easily checked against any original. This translation 
should be useful to scholars and critics, philosophers and historians, 
professors and students; it should be possible to cite it and also 
to find in it passages cited by others; and it should be easy to 
compare the text with readily available German editions. 

2 

The question still remains to be answered: what is the nature 
of this strange work? The answer is plain: it offers a selection 
from Nietzsche’s notebooks of the years 1883 through 1888. 
These notes were not intended for publication in this form, and 



xvi 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the arrangement and the numbering are not Nietzsche’s. Alto- 
gether, this book is not comparable to the works Nietzsche finished 
and polished, and we do him a disservice if we fudge the distinction 
between these hasty notes and his often gemlike aphorisms. Super- 
ficially they may look alike, and the numbering contributes to 
this appearance, but in both style and content the difference is 
considerable. 

To remind the reader of the difference, the approximate date 
of composition is furnished in brackets after the number of each 
note, and every attempt has been made to preserve the stylistic 
character of the original. The temptation to complete sentences, 
spruce up the punctuation, and turn jottings into attractive epi- 
grams has been resisted with a will. 3 And in my notes I have 
called attention to passages in Nietzsche’s late books in which 
some of these notes have been put to use — sometimes almost 
literally, but often with an interesting and perhaps unexpected 
twist. And in some notes I offer cross references to other passages 
in which Nietzsche takes a different tack. 

A generation ago, many readers might have felt that if this 
book did not offer Nietzsche’s final system, it could surely be 
ignored. But now that people have become used to reading the 
notebooks of Gide, Kafka, and Camus, for example, without 
taking them for anything but what they are, there is no need 
to downgrade Nietzsche’s notes because they are mere notes. Of 
course, the reason he did not use some of them in his later works, 
although he could have included a lot of them quite easily in a 
chapter of aphorisms in Twilight of the Idols, was that many of 
them did not altogether satisfy him. Whether he used or did not 
use them, these notes obviously do not represent his final views: 
in his last active year, 1888, he completed five books; during the 
immediately preceding two years, another two. So we clearly need 
not turn to his notes to find what he really thought in the end. 
But it is fascinating to look, as it were, into the workshop of a 
great thinker; and Nietzsche’s notes need not fear comparison 
with the notes of other great writers. On the contrary. 

“Nietzsche often employs three or four periods as a punctuation mark 
to indicate that a train of thought is not concluded. Since this device is so 
regularly employed in English to indicate omissions, dashes (two if there are 
a lot of periods) have been substituted in this translation to avoid misunder- 
standing. And not all of Nietzsche’s eccentricities have been retained; e.g., 
his frequent use of dashes before other punctuation marks. Also, I have 
sometimes started new paragraphs where the German editors run on. 



editor’s introduction 


xvii 


3 

The history of the text can be given briefly. Nietzsche himself 
had contemplated a book under the title The Will to Power. His 
notebooks contain a great many drafts for title pages for this 
and other projected works, and some of the drafts for this book 
suggest as a subtitle: Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values. Later 
on Nietzsche considered writing a book of a somewhat different 
nature (less aphoristic, more continuous) under the title Revalua- 
tion of all Values, and for a time he conceived of The Antichrist, 
written in the fall of 1888, as the first of the four books com- 
prising the Revaluation of All Values. 

In 1901, the year after Nietzsche’s death, his sister published 
her first version of The Will to Power in volume 15 of her edition 
of his collected works, arranging 483 notes under topical headings. 
In 1904 she included 200 pages of additional notes “from The 
Will to Power” in the last volume of her biography of Nietzsche, 
to help its sales. And in 1906 another edition of the collected 
works offered a new version of The Will to Power in two volumes: 
the new material was mixed in with the old, and the total number 
of notes now came to 1,067. In the so-called Grossoktav edition 
of Nietzsche’s Werke the same 1,067 notes appear in volumes 15 
and 16, and volume 16 (1911) also features an appendix which 
contains “uncertain aphorisms and variants,” numbered 1,068 
through 1,079; “plans, dispositions, drafts” (pp. 413-67); a post- 
script (pp. 471-80); a list furnishing the numbers of the notebooks 
in which each of the notes and drafts was found; and notes 
indicating small departures from the manuscripts. I have made 
abundant use of these notes in the pages that follow, sometimes 
citing the volume in which they are found as “191 l.” 4 For these 
notes were not reprinted in the otherwise superior Musarion edi- 
tion of Nietzsche’s Werke, in which The Will to Power comprises 
volumes 18 and 19. The other material found in 1911 is offered 
in that edition, too, except that the list of the notebooks is super- 
seded by a list giving the approximate date of composition of 
each of the 1 ,067 notes. The dates given in the following pages in 
brackets, immediately after the number of each note, are taken 
from that list. 

4 Where departures from the MSS are indicated in the editorial notes in 
the following pages and no authority is cited, the information is derived 
from 1911. 




xviti 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The handiest edition of the work is probably the one-volume 
edition in Kroner’s Taschen edition, volume 78, published in 1930 
with Alfred Baumler’s postscript (discussed above). Kroner has 
seen fit to reprint these Nietzsche editions, complete with Baum- 
ler’s postscripts. On close examination, however, it appears that 
some changes have been made in Baumler’s remarks about The 
Will to Power, although this is not indicated anywhere. This edi- 
tion contains none of the scholarly apparatus. 

In 1940 Friedrich Wiirzbach published his own rearrangement 
of the notes of The Will to Power, under the title “The Legacy 
of Friedrich Nietzsche: Attempt at a new interpretation of all 
that happens and a revaluation of all values, from the unpub- 
lished manuscript material and arranged in accordance with 
Nietzsche’s intentions.” 5 The claim that these notes rather than 
the books Nietzsche finished represent his legacy is as untenable 
as the boast that this — or any — arrangement can claim the sanction 
of Nietzsche’s own intentions. The bulk of Wiirzbach’s material 
was taken from The Will to Power, but he also included some 
other notes (all of them previously published in the Grossoktav 
edition and the Musarion edition), and he amalgamated notes of 
all periods, from 1870 to 1888. On pages 683-97 he furnished 
the dates, but he nowhere indicated the numbers of the notes in 
the standard edition of The Will to Power. This edition was trans- 
lated into French but has won no acceptance in Germany or 
among scholars elsewhere. 

What needs to be said about the standard arrangement fol- 
lowed in the present translation I said in my Nietzsche in 1950: 
“To arrange the material, Frau Forster-Nietzsche chose a four- 
line draft left by her brother, and distributed the notes under its 
four headings. Nietzsche himself had discarded this draft, and 
there are a dozen later ones, about twenty-five in all; but none 
of these were briefer than this one which listed only the titles of 
the four projected parts and thus gave the editor the greatest pos- 
sible freedom. (It was also the only draft which suggested “Zucht 
und Ztichtung” as the title of Part IV, and Frau Forster-Nietzsche 
may have been charmed by these words, although her brother, as 
we shall see, did not consider ‘breeding’ a function of race.) His 


° Das Vermachtnis Friedrich Nietzsches: Versuch einer neuen Auslegung 
alies Geschehens und einer Untwertung alter Werte, aus dent Nachlass und 
nach den Intentionen Nietzsche’s geordnet, Verlag Anton Pustet, Salzburg 
and Leipzig 1940. 


editor’s introduction 


XIX 


own attempt to distribute some of his notes among the four parts 
of a later and more detailed plan was ignored, as was the fact 
that Nietzsche had abandoned the entire project of The Will to 
Power in 1888. . . . Moreover, the Antichrist, however provoca- 
tive, represents a more single-minded and sustained inquiry than 
any of Nietzsche’s other books and thus suggests that the major 
work of which it constitutes Part I [or at least was for a while 
intended to form Part I] was not meant to consist of that maze 
of incoherent, if extremely interesting, observations which have 
since been represented as his crowning achievement. While he 
intended to use some of this material, he evidently meant to mold 
it into a coherent and continuous whole; and the manner in which 
he utilized his notes in his other finished books makes it clear 
that many notes would have been given an entirely new and 
unexpected meaning. 

“The publication of The Will to Power as Nietzsche’s final 
and systematic work blurred the distinction between his works 
and his notes and created the false impression that the aphorisms 
in his books are of a kind with these disjointed jottings. Ever 
since, The Will to Power, rather than the Gdtzen-D&mmerung 
[Twilight of the Idols] , Antichrist, and Ecce Homo, has been 
searched for Nietzsche’s final position; and those who find it 
strangely incoherent are led to conclude that the same must be 
true a fortiori of his parva opera. 

“The two most common forms of the Nietzsche legend can 
thus be traced back to his sister. In the manner just indicated, 
she unwittingly laid the foundation for the myth that Nietzsche’s 
thought is hopelessly incoherent, ambiguous, and self-contradictory; 
and by bringing to her interpretation of her brother’s work the 
heritage of her late husband [a prominent anti-Semite whose 
ideology Nietzsche had excoriated on many occasions], she pre- 
pared the way for the belief that Nietzsche was a proto-Nazi” 
(Prologue, section I). 

Four years later, in 1954, when I published The Portable 
Nietzsche and presented four complete works as well as selections 
from Nietzsche’s other books, notes, and letters, all arranged in 
chronological order, I included a few notes from The Will to 
Power under such headings as “NOTES (1887)” with footnotes 
reading: “Published as part of The Will to Power by Nietzsche’s 
executors.” 

Schlechta’s edition of 1956 thus did not require me to change 



XX 


THE WILL TO POWER 


my mind about The Will to Power. But it may seem odd that in 
the light of my own estimate of The Will to Power I should have 
decided to publish a translation. The explanation is simple. 

Nietzsche’s late works had to be made available first of all. 
Toward that end I made entirely new translations of Thus Spoke 
Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, and Nietzsche 
contra Wagner (all included in The Portable Nietzsche ), and more 
recently of Beyond Good and Evil (with commentary, 1966), The 
Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner (with commentary, 
1967), and Ecce Homo (1967). And I collaborated on a new 
translation of the Genealogy of Morals (1967). Beginning with 
Zarathustra, then, all of Nietzsche’s later works will be available 
in new translations. At that point The Will to Power should be 
made accessible, too, for those who cannot read these notes in 
the original German. 

To be sure, there is an old translation, done by Anthony M. 
Ludovici for The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, edited 
by Dr. Oscar Levy. Originally published in 1914, the two volumes 
of The Will to Power were “revised afresh by their translator” for 
the edition of 1924, and reprinted without further revision in 
1964. Dr. Levy was probably quite right when in a prefatory 
note he called Ludovici “the most gifted and conscientious of my 
collaborators,” but unfortunately this does not mean that Ludo- 
vici’s translations are roughly reliable. Even in the revised version, 
the heading of section 12, for example, refers to “Cosmopolitan 
Values” instead of “Cosmological Values.” Let us say that Ludo- 
vici was not a philosopher, and let it go at that. It would be 
pointless to multiply editorial notes in order to catalogue his mis- 
translations, But as long as we shall never mention him in the 
notes, one other example may be permissible. Section 86 begins: 
“Your Henrik Ibsen has become very clear to me.” Evidently 
confusing deutlich (clear) and deutsch, Ludovici renders this: “In 
my opinion, Henrik Ibsen has become very German.” 

4 

On the surface, Nietzsche seems easy to read, at least by 
comparison with other philosophers. In fact, however, his style 
poses unusual difficulties, and anyone who has taken the trouble 
to compare most of the existing translations with the originals 
must realize how easy it is to miss Nietzsche’s meaning, not merely 



editor’s introduction xxi 

occasionally but in section upon section. The reasons are not diffi- 
cult to find. 

Nietzsche loved brevity to the point of ellipsis and often 
attached exceptional weight to the nuances of the words he did 
put down. Without an ear for the subtlest connotations of his 
brilliant, sparkling German, one is bound to misunderstand him. 
Nietzsche is Germany’s greatest prose stylist, and his language is a 
delight at every turn like a poet’s — more than that of all but 
the very greatest poets. 

At the same time Nietzsche deals with intricate philosophical 
questions, especially but not only in The Will to Power, and who- 
ever lacks either a feeling for poetry or some knowledge of these 
problems and their terminology is sure to come to grief in trying 
to fathom Nietzsche, sentence for sentence, as a translator must. 

Yet Nietzsche’s writings have an appeal that those of most 
other philosophers- — and of all other German philosophers — lack. 
People turn to him for striking epigrams and brilliant formula- 
tions; they remember phrases out of context; indeed, he is more 
often than not read' out of context — casually, carelessly, as if the 
details did not matter. If one turns to translations — whether the 
old ones of The Complete Works or the more recent paperback 
versions that flaunt their modernity-— one usually falls victim to 
translators who have read him that way. 

In addition to all this, Nietzsche writes as a “good European” 
(his coinage), alluding freely to Greek and Roman, French, Italian, 
and German literature and history, and he uses foreign phrases 
when they have nuances that might easily be lost in German. If 
we simply rendered all such phrases into English, not only subtle 
shades of meaning would be lost but — infinitely more important 
— something of this European flavor. If we simply left them all 
in the original, most students would be stumped by them; hence 
I have offered English translations in footnotes, with apologies 
to those who do not need them. Occasionally, no English equiva- 
lents are offered because the meaning seems so obvious, usually 
because the words are almost the same in English. 

Similarly, some of the men referred to are identified in notes. 
In all such matters compromises seem unavoidable: to identify 
all would be insufferable, to identify none would leave even some 
scholars baffled, and no mean could answer every student’s needs 
without at the same time striking some others as superfluous. 

Precisely the same consideration applies to all other notes. 



xxii THE WILL TO POWER 

Listing all parallel passages at every point would swell the editorial 
notes beyond all reason; after all, there are many indices to 
Nietzsche’s collected works (three different ones by Richard 
Oehler — for the Grossoktav edition, the Musarion edition, and 
Kroner’s Taschen edition — and one by Karl Schlechta for his 
edition, as well as one in English for The Collected Works*), and 
my recent translations furnish indices for individual works. More- 
over, cross references and indices always do harm as well as good, 
especially in Nietzsche’s case: there is no substitute for reading 
his main works straight through, giving attention to the movement 
of his thought and to the context in which various things are 
said. But if no passages were cited in which Nietzsche put to use 
the notes his sister published posthumously in The Will to Power, 
the following pages would be as misleading as all previous editions, 
English and German. 

As it is, this translation offers a great deal of information 
not to be found in any German edition, though it owes a great 
deal to the editorial apparatus of the Grossoktav edition and a 
little to that of the Musarion edition. It should facilitate a better 
understanding of Nietzsche, of the nineteenth century, and perhaps 
also of some of the problems with which he dealt — and therefore 
of the twentieth century, too. 


5 

Even in this introduction Nietzsche should have the last 
word. So I shall conclude by citing one of his drafts for a preface 
— not included in any previous edition of The Will to Power, 
but found in the Musarion edition of the works (volume XIV, 
PP- 373 /.): 

Fall of 1885 

THE WILL TO POWER 

A book for thinking, nothing else: it belongs to those for 
whom thinking is a delight, nothing else — 

That it is written in German is untimely, to say the 
least: I wish I had written it in French so that it might not 
appear to be a confirmation of the aspirations of the German 
Reich. 

' All five are incomplete even as far as names are concerned and omit 
some of the most crucial passages in which terms that are listed appear. 



editor’s introduction xxiii 

The Germans of today are no thinkers any longer: 
something else delights and impresses them. 

The will to power as a principle might be intelligible 
to them. 

It is precisely among the Germans today that people 
think less than anywhere else. But who knows? In two gen- 
erations one will no longer require the sacrifice involved in 
any nationalistic squandering of power and in becoming 
stupid. 

(Formerly I wished I had not written my Zarathustra in 
German.) 




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 


— • — «m >~— — 

When Jason Epstein talked me into doing more Nietzsche transla- 
tions, and I talked him into doing The Will to Power, I did not 
foresee that this volume would present even a fraction of the 
difficulties that it did raise. At one point I abandoned the project 
altogether, but Jason Epstein was ever patient and kind, and 
Berenice Hoffman’s innumerable editorial queries were more than 
patient and, like Jason Epstein’s persistence, never annoying. To 
say that they were helpful would be an understatement. No trans- 
lator or author could ask for more cooperation from his editors. 

Further, I am indebted to Professor Dr. Hahn at the Goethe- 
and Schiller-Archiv, Nationale Forschungs- und Gedenkstatten der 
klassischen deutschen Literatur in Weimar, East Germany, for 
sending me the reproductions of Nietzsche manuscripts that appear 
at the front of this volume, and for granting me permission to pub- 
lish them. These pictures have not been published previously and 
contain passages that have never before appeared in print in any 
language. 




On the Editions of 

THE WILL TO POWER 

the first edition appeared in 1901 in volume XV of Nietzsche’s 
Werke (in the so-called Grossoktav edition). The title page read 

NACHGELASSENE WERKE. 


Der Wille zur Macht. 
Versuch ciner Umwerthung aller Werthe. 
(Studien und Fragmente.) 

Von 

Friedrich Nietzsche. 


Leipzig 

Druck und Verlag von C. G. Naumann 
1901. 

In English: “Works Not Published by Nietzsche. The Will to 
Power. Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values. (Studies and 
Fragments.) By Friedrich Nietzsche.” The facing left page was 
headed “Nietzsche’s Werke” and subtitled “Zweite Abtheilung. 
Band XV. (Siebenter Band der zweiten Abtheilung.)” The first 
eight volumes, comprising the first section of the works, contained 
Nietzsche’s books; the second section, of which this was the 
seventh volume, offered his Nachlass. 

The editors were Peter Gast, Ernst Homeffer, and August 
Horneffer. On the last page of her preface, Nietzsche’s sister wrote: 
“But I emphasize expressly that I myself am not the editor of 
this volume but at most a collaborator in the most modest sense 
of that word. The only circumstance that permits me to write 
this preface is that the collected edition of my brother’s works is 
published at my behest, and hence the heaviest part of the responsi- 
bility, with all its cares and fights, has been resting on my shoulders 
for many years now. This 15th volume is to be considered as the 



xxviii 


THE WILL TO POWER 


culmination of the perennial, troublesome, conscientious labors 
of the editors: Peter Gast, Ernst and August Horneffer . . 
483 sections (490 pages) plus 23 pages of Nietzsche’s plans, 
and another 23 pages of editorial notes. The editors did not have 
time to do the job as they themselves felt it ought to be done, 
because Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche, as head of the Nietzsche- 
Archive, insisted that the volume be published in a hurry. There 
were recriminations between her and the brothers Horneffer, and 
they left the Archive. 

The second edition of 1906, in the so-called Taschen edition 
of the Werke (for the different editions of the works in German 
see the bibliography at the end of my translation of The Birth 
of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner in one volume, Vintage 
Books, New York 1967), followed roughly the same plan as the 
first edition but comprised 1,067 sections. Peter Gast checked all 
the material against Nietzsche’s manuscripts, which he is said to 
have been able to decipher better than anyone else, and he seems 
to have had a fairly free hand in Books I and III. 

The reprint of 1911 (in vols. XV and XVI of the revised 
edition of the Grossoktav edition) follows the text of 1906, but 
Dr. Otto Weiss contributed an appendix of invaluable scholarly 
notes on the manuscripts. 

In the so-called Musarion edition (23 vols., 1920-29), pub- 
lished by the Musarion Verlag in Munich, the text of 1906 and 
1911, which had been published by Kroner in Leipzig, is reprinted 
in vols. XVIII and XIX, but the apparatus differs in two impor- 
tant respects from the edition of 191 1 : on the basis of the informa- 
tion given by Dr. Weiss on p. 480 ff, a table is included that 
furnishes the approximate date of composition for every one of 
the 1,067 sections; and the editorial notes listing departures from 
the manuscripts are omitted. Indeed, these notes are found only 
in the edition of 1911, and the list of dates appears only in the 
Musarion edition. These two editions are therefore the most 
scholarly and helpful, that of 1911 being by far the best. 

No subsequent edition has made any important scholarly 
contribution. The editions of Baumler, Wiirzbach, and Schlechta 
are discussed in the Editor’s Introduction to the present edition, 
and the editorial notes contain many examples showing how 
Schlechta’s edition is less faithful to the manuscripts than the 
edition of 1911, notwithstanding his explicit claims which have 
been widely taken on credit on both sides of the Atlantic. 



editions of The Will to Power xxuc 

Finally, it may be noted that Baumler’s first edition of Der 
Wille zur Macht, in volume 78 of Kroners Taschen edition (1930) 
presented the work as one of Nietzsche’s books: the title page 
mentions no editors. In the reprint in Samtliche Werke in zwolf 
B'dnden, 12 vols.. Kroner, Stuttgart 1964-65, the text follows vol- 
ume 78 with the same pagination, but the title page adds “Ausge- 
wahlt und geordnet von Peter Gast unter Mitwirkung von Elisabeth 
Forster-Nietzsche” (selected and arranged by Peter Gast with the 
aid of Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche); and in a postscript (pp. 711- 
15) to his editorial afterword (pp. 699-711 — a slightly revised 
version of the earlier afterword, though neither the publisher nor 
Baumler calls attention to the fact that some changes have been 
made) Alfred Baumler deals briefly with Karl Schlechta’s and 
Erich Podach’s criticisms of the editing of Nietzsche’s Nachlass . 




Chronology of Nietzsche’s Works 

A much more comprehensive bibliography is included in my translation 
of The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner, New York, 
Vintage Books, 1967. 

Selections from the aphoristic books (1878-82) are included in 
The Portable Nietzsche, New York, The Viking Press, 1954, and in my 
edition of The Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, New York, 
Vintage Books, 1967. 


THE BIRTH OF TRAGEDY 1872 

Slightly revised 2nd edition, 1878; in 1886 a new preface was 
added to the remaining copies of both editions. Translation with 
commentary by Walter Kaufmann, 1967. 


UNTIMELY MEDITATIONS 

David Strauss 1873 

On the Use and Disadvantage of History 1873 

Schopenhauer as Educator 1874 

Richard Wagner in Bayreuth 1876 

HUMAN, ALL-TOO-HUMAN 1878 

Mixed Opinions and Maxims (1st sequel) 1879 

The Wanderer and His Shadow (2nd sequel) 1880 

Second editions, with new prefaces, 1886. 

THE DAWN 1881 

Second edition, with a new preface, 1887. 

THE GAY SCIENCE 1882 

Second edition, with substantial additions, 1887. 

THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA 1883-1892 


Parts I and II published separately in 1883, Part III in 1884, 
forty copies of Part IV printed in 1885 (but only seven distributed 
among friends); first public ed. of Part IV, dated 1891 and pub- 
lished in 1 892. Translation with commentary by Walter Kaufmann, 
1954 (originally in The Portable Nietzsche ). 



xxxii 


THE WILL TO POWER 


BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 1886 

Translation with commentary by Walter Kaufmann, 1966. 

ON THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS 1887 

Translation with commentary by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. 
Hollingdale, 1967. 

THE CASE OF WAGNER 

Translation with commentary by Walter Kaufmann, 1967. 


THE TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS (written 1888) 1889 

Translation with preface and notes by Walter Kaufmann, 1954 
(in The Portable Nietzsche). 

THE ANTICHRIST (written 1888) 1895 

Translation with preface and notes by Walter Kaufmann, 1954 
(in The Portable Nietzsche). 

ECCE HOMO ( written 1888) 1908 

Translation with commentary by Walter Kaufmann, 1967. 

NIETZSCHE CONTRA WAGNER (written 1888) 1895 

Translation with notes by Walter Kaufmann, 1954. 

(in The Portable Nietzsche). 

THE WILL TO POWER ( Notes written 1883-1888) 1901 


Revised edition, containing twice as much material, 1906, reprinted 
with considerable scholarly apparatus in 1911. Translated by 
Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale, edited with notes by 
Walter Kaufmann, 1967. 



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VII 




VIII 








PREFACE 

(Nov. 1887-March 1888) 


1 

Of what is great one must either be silent or speak with great- 
ness. With greatness — that jpeans cynically and with innocence. 

2 

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I 
describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: 
the advent of nihilism. This history can be related even now; for 
necessity itself is at work here. This future speaks even now in 
a hundred signs, this destiny announces itself everywhere; for 
this music of the future all ears are cocked even now. For some 
time now, our whole European culture has been moving as toward 
a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade 
to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants 
to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect. 

3 

He that speaks here, conversely, has done nothing so far 
but reflect: a philosopher and solitary by instinct, who has found 
his advantage in standing aside and outside, in patience, in pro- 
crastination, in staying behind; as a spirit of daring and experiment 
that has already lost its way once in every labyrinth of the future; 
as a soothsayer-bird spirit who looks back when relating what will 
come; as the first perfect nihilist of Europe who, however, has 
even now lived through the whole of nihilism, to the end, leaving 
it behind, outside himself. 


4 

For one should make no mistake about the meaning of the 
title that this gospel of the future wants to bear. " The Will to 
Power : Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values” — in this formula- 
tion a countermovement finds expression, regarding both principle 
and task; a movement that in some future will take the place of 
this perfect nihilism — but presupposes it, logically and psychologi- 



4 preface 

cally, and certainly can come only after and out of it. For why 
has the advent of nihilism become necessary ? Because the values 
we have had hitherto thus draw their final consequence; because 
nihilism represents the ultimate logical conclusion of our great 
values and ideals — because we must experience nihilism before 
we can find out what value these “values” really had. — We re- 
quire, sometime, new values. 



BOOK ONE 



EUROPEAN NIHILISM 



1 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Toward an Outline 

1. Nihilism stands at the door: whence comes this uncan- 
niest of all guests? Point of departure: it is an error to consider 
“social distress” or “physiological degeneration” or, worse, corrup- 
tion, as the cause of nihilism. Ours is the most decent and com- 
passionate age. Distress, whether of the soul, body, or intellect, 
cannot of itself give birth to nihilism (i.e., the radical repudiation 
of value, meaning, and desirability). Such distress always permits 
a variety of interpretations. Rather: it is in one particular interpre- 
tation, the Christian-moral one, that nihilism is rooted. 

2. The end of Christianity — at the hands of its own morality 
(which cannot be replaced), which turns against the Christian 
God (the sense of truthfulness, developed highly by Christianity, 
is nauseated by the falseness and mendaciousness of all Christian 
interpretations of the world and of history; rebound from “God 
is truth” to the fanatical faith “All is false”; Buddhism of ac- 
tion — ) . 

3. Skepticism regarding morality is what is decisive. The end 
of the moral interpretation of the world, which no longer has any 
sanction after it has tried to escape into some beyond, leads to 
nihilism. “Everything lacks meaning” (the untenability of one inter- 
pretation of the world, upon which a tremendous amount of energy 
has been lavished, awakens the suspicion that all interpretations 
of the world are false). Buddhistic tendency, yearning for Nothing. 
(Indian Buddhism is not the culmination of a thoroughly moralistic 
development; its nihilism is therefore full of morality that is not 
overcome: existence as punishment, existence construed as error, 
error thus as a punishment — a moral valuation.) Philosophical 
attempts to overcome the “moral God” (Hegel, pantheism). Over- 
coming popular ideals: the sage; the saint; the poet. The antago- 
nism of “true” and “beautiful” and “good” — 

4. Against “meaninglessness” on the one hand, against moral 
value judgments on the other: to what extent has all science and 
philosophy so far been influenced by moral judgments? and won’t 
this net us the hostility of science? Or an antiscientific mentality? 
Critique of Spinozism. Residues of Christian value judgments are 
found everywhere in socialistic and positivistic systems. A critique 
of Christian morality is still lacking. 



8 THE WILL TO POWER 

5. The nihilistic consequences of contemporary natural 
science (together with its attempts to escape into some beyond). 
The industry of its pursuit eventually leads to self-disintegration, 
opposition, an antiscientific mentality. Since Copernicus man has 
been rolling from the center toward X* 

6. The nihilistic consequences of the ways of thinking in 
politics and economics, where all “principles” are practically his- 
trionic: the air of mediocrity, wretchedness, dishonesty, etc. Na- 
tionalism. Anarchism, etc. Punishment. The redeeming class and 
human being are lacking — the justifiers — 

7. The nihilistic consequences of historiography and of the 
", practical historians,” i.e., the romantics. The position of art: 
its position in the modern world absolutely lacking in originality. 
Its decline into gloom. Goethe’s allegedly Olympian stance. 

8. Art and the preparation erf nihilism: romanticism (the 
conclusion of Wagner’s Nibelungen). 

* Cf. Genealogy of Morals, third essay, section 25. 




I. NIHILISM 


2 ( Spring-Fall 1887)' 

What does nihilism mean? That the highest values devaluate 
themselves. The aim is lacking; “why?” finds no answer. 

3 ( Spring-Fall 1887) n - 

Radical nihilism is the conviction of an absolute untenability 
of existence when it comes to the highest values one recognizes; 
plus the realization that we lack the least right to posit a beyond 
or an in-itself of things that might be “divine” or morality in- 
carnate. 

This realization is a consequence of the cultivation of “truth- 
fulness” — thus itself a consequence of the faith in morality. 

4 (June 10, 1887) 3 

What were the advantages of the Christian moral hypothesis? 

1. It granted man an absolute value, as opposed to his small- 
ness and accidental occurrence in the flux of becoming and passing 
away. 

1 According to Erich Podach, notes 2, 13, 22, and 23 form a single note 
in Nietzsche’s notebooks — not in that order. The note begins: 

“ Nihilism as a normal condition. Nihilism: the aim is lacking; ‘why?’ 
finds no answer. What does nihilism mean? That the highest values de- 
valuate themselves. 

“It is ambiguous : 

“A. Nihilism as a sign of increased power of the spirit: active 

nihilism. 

"It can be a sign of strength: . . .” 

(See Podach Ein Blick in Notizbiicher Nietzsches, Heidelberg, Wolfgang 
Rothe, 1963, pp. 205 /. In Schlechta’s edition the note appears in four parts, 
in the same sequence as in the standard editions: 2, 13, 22, and 23. For 
further discussion of Podach and Schlechta see Kaufmann, “Nietzsche in 
the Light of his Suppressed Manuscripts,” in Journal of the History of 
Philosophy, October 1964 (II.2), pp. 205-225. 

1 In Nietzsche’s manuscript this note is marked “For the Plan” (Zum 
Plane). See Werke, Grossoktav edition, XVI (1911), p. 497. In subsequent 
references this volume is cited as “191 1.” 

3 In the manuscript this note is number 1 under the heading “ European 
Nihilism. Lenzer Heide [Heath of Lenz], June 10, 1887”; and it is followed 
by note 5, which Nietzsche superscribed 2; note 114, which he numbered 3; 
and note 55, whose thirteen sections Nietzsche numbered 4 through 16. See 
1911, p. 497. 




10 THE WILL TO POWER 

2. It served the advocates of God insofar as it conceded to 
the world, in spite of suffering and evil, the character of perfec- 
tion — including “freedom": evil appeared full of meaning. 

3. It posited that man had a knowledge of absolute values 
and thus adequate knowledge precisely regarding what is most 
important. 

4. It prevented man from despising himself as man, from 
taking sides against life; from despairing of knowledge: it was a 
means of preservation. 

In sum: morality was the great antidote against practical 
and theoretical nihilism. 

5 ( June 10, 1887)* 

But among the forces cultivated by morality was truthfulness: 
this eventually turned against morality, discovered its teleology, its 
partial perspective — and now the recognition of this inveterate 
mendaciousness that one despairs of shedding becomes a stimulant. 
Now we discover in ourselves needs implanted by centuries of 
moral interpretation — needs that now appear to us as needs for 
untruth; on the other hand, the value for which we endure life 
seems to hinge on these needs. This antagonism — not to esteem 
what we know, and not to be allowed any longer to esteem the lies 
we should like to tell ourselves — results in a process of dissolution. 

6 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

This is the antinomy: 

Insofar as we believe in morality we pass sentence on exist- 
ence. 


7 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The supreme values in whose service man should live, es- 
pecially when they were very hard on him and exacted a high 
price — these social values were erected over man to strengthen 
their voice, as if they were commands of God, as “reality,” as the 
“true” world, as a hope and future world. Now that the shabby 
origin of these values is becoming clear, the universe seems to 


4 See footnote to section 4 above. 



book one: European Nihilism 11 

have lost value, seems “meaningless” — but that is only a transi- 
tional stage. 


8 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The nihilistic consequence (the belief in valuelessness) as a 
consequence of moral valuation: everything egoistic has come to 
disgust us (even though we realize the impossibility of the un- 
egoistic); what is necessary has come to disgust us (even though 
we realize the impossibility of any liberum arbitrium 8 or “in- 
telligible freedom”). We see that we cannot reach the sphere in 
which we have placed our values; but this does not by any means 
confer any value on that other sphere in which we live: on the 
contrary, we are weary because we have lost the main stimulus. 
“In vain so far!" 

9 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Pessimism as a preliminary form of nihilism. 

10 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Pessimism as strength — in what? in the energy of its logic, 
as anarchism and nihilism, as analytic. 

Pessimism as decline — in what? as growing effeteness, as a 
sort of cosmopolitan fingering, as "tout comprendre ” e and his- 
toricism. 

The critical tension: the extremes appear and become pre- 
dominant. 


11 ( Spring-Fall 1887, rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

The logic of pessimism down to ultimate nihilism: what is 
at work in it? The idea of valuelessness, meaninglessness: to what 
extent moral valuations hide behind all other high values. 

Conclusion: Moral value judgments are ways of passing 
sentence, negations; morality is a way of turning one's back on 
the will to existence. 

Problem: But what is morality ? 

'Free will. 

* Understanding ever} thing, 




12 


THE WILL TO POWER 


12 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Decline of Cosmological Values 

(A) 

Nihilism as a psychological state will have to be reached, 
first , when we have sought a “meaning” in all events that is not 
there: so the seeker eventually becomes discouraged. Nihilism, 
then, is the recognition of the long waste of strength, the agony 
of the “in vain,” insecurity, the lack of any opportunity to recover 
and to regain composure — being ashamed in front of oneself, as 
if one had deceived oneself all too long. — This meaning could 
have been: the “fulfillment” of some highest ethical canon in all 
events, the moral world order; or the growth of love and harmony 
in the intercourse of beings; or the gradual approximation of a 
state of universal happiness; or even the development toward a 
state of universal annihilation — any goal at least constitutes some 
meaning. What all these notions have in common is that some- 
thing is to be achieved through the process — and now one realizes 
that becoming aims at nothing and achieves nothing . — Thus, 
disappointment regarding an alleged aim of becoming as a cause 
of nihilism: whether regarding a specific aim or, universalized, the 
realization that all previous hypotheses about aims that concern 
the whole “evolution” are inadequate (man no longer the col- 
laborator, let alone the center, of becoming). 

Nihilism as a psychological state is reached, secondly , when 
one has posited a totality, a systematization, indeed any organiza- 
tion in all events, and underneath all events, and a soul that longs 
to admire and revere has wallowed in the idea of some supreme 
form of domination and administration ( — if the soul be that of 
a logician, complete consistency and real dialectic are quite suf- 
ficient to reconcile it to everything). Some sort of unity, some 
form of “monism”: this faith suffices to give man a deep feeling of 
standing in the context of, and being dependent on, some whole 
that is infinitely superior to him, and he sees himself as a mode of 
the deity. — “The well-being of the universal demands the devo- 
tion of the individual”— but behold, there is no such universal! 
At bottom, man has lost the faith in his own value when no in- 
finitely valuable whole works through him; i.e., he conceived such 
a whole in order to be able to believe in his own value. 

Nihilism as psychological state has yet a third and last form. 



book one: European Nihilism I? 

Given these two insights, that becoming has no goal and that 
underneath all becoming there is no grand unity in which the 
individual could immerse himself completely as in an element of 
supreme value, an escape remains: to pass sentence on this whole 
world of becoming as a deception and to invent a world beyond 
it, a true world. But as soon as man finds out how that world is 
fabricated solely from psychological needs, and how he has ab- 
solutely no right to it, the last form of nihilism comes into being: 
it includes disbelief in any metaphysical world and forbids itself 
any belief in a true world. 7 Having reached this standpoint, one 
grants the reality of becoming as the only reality, forbids oneself 
every kind of clandestine access to afterworlds and false divinities 
— but cannot endure this world though one does not want to deny 
it. 

What has happened, at bottom? The feeling of valuelessness 
was reached with the realization that the overall character of ex- 
istence may not be interpreted by means of the concept of “aim,” 
the concept of “unity,” or the concept of “truth.” Existence has 
no goal or end; any comprehensive unity in the plurality of events 
is lacking: the character of existence is not “true,” is false. One 
simply lacks any reason for convincing oneself that there is a 
true world. Briefly: the categories “aim,” “unity,” “being” which 
we used to project some value into the world — we pull out again; 
so the world looks valueless. 


(B) 

Suppose we realize how the world may no longer be in- 
terpreted in terms of these three categories, and that the world 
begins to become valueless for us after this insight: then we have 
to ask about the sources of our faith in these three categories. Let 
us try if it is not possible to give up our faith in them. Once 
we have devaluated these three categories, the demonstration that 
they cannot be applied to the universe is no longer any reason for 
devaluating the universe. 

Conclusion: The faith in the categories of reason is the cause 
of nihilism. We have measured the value of the world according 
to categories that refer to a purely fictitious world. 

Final conclusion: All the values by means of which we have 

’ Cf. Twilight of the Idols, Chapters III and IV ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 
482 - 86 ). 



14 


THB Will TO POWER 


tried so far to render the world estimable for ourselves and which 
then proved inapplicable and therefore devaluated the world — all 
these values are, psychologically considered, the results of certain 
perspectives of utility, designed to maintain and increase human 
constructs of domination — and they have been falsely projected 
into the essence of things. What we find here is still the hyperbolic 
naiveU of man: positing himself as the meaning and measure of 
the value of things. 


13 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 8 

Nihilism represents a pathological transitional stage (what is 
pathological is the tremendous generalization, the inference that 
there is no meaning at all): whether the productive forces are 
not yet strong enough, or whether decadence still hesitates and 
has not yet invented its remedies. 

Presupposition of this hypothesis: that there is no truth, that 
there is no absolute nature of things nor a "thing-in-itself.” This, 
too, is merely nihilism — even the most extreme nihilism. It places 
the value of things precisely in the lack of any reality corresponding 
to these values and in their being merely a symptom of strength 
on the part of the value-positers, a simplification for the sake of life. 

14 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Values and their changes are related to increases in the 
power of those positing the values. 

The measure of unbelief, of permitted “freedom of the spirit” 
as an expression of an increase in power. 

“Nihilism” an ideal of the highest degree of powerfulness of 
the spirit, the over-richest life — partly destructive, partly ironic. 

15 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

What is a belief ? How does it originate? Every belief is a 
considering-something-true. 

The most extreme form of nihilism would be the view that 
every belief, every considering-something-true, is necessarily false 
because there simply is no true world. Thus: a perspectival ap- 


* See the footnote for section 2 above. 



book ONE: European Nihilism IS 

pearance whose origin lies in us (in so far as we continually need 
a narrower, abbreviated, simplified world). 

— That it is the measure of strength to what extent we can 
admit to ourselves, without perishing, the merely apparent char- 
acter, the necessity of lies. 

To this extent, nihilism, as the denial of a truthful world, of 
being, might be a divine way of thinking, 

16 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

If we are “disappointed,” it is at least not regarding life: 
rather we are now facing up to all kinds of “desiderata.” With 
scornful wrath we contemplate what are called “ideals”; we despise 
ourselves only because there are moments when we cannot subdue 
that absurd impulse that is called “idealism.” The influence of 
too much coddling is stronger than the wrath of the disappointed. 

17 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

To what extent Schopenhauer’s nihilism still follows from 
the same ideal that created Christian theism. — One felt so certain 
about the highest desiderata, the highest values, the highest per- 
fection that the philosophers assumed this as an absolute certainty, 
as if it were a priori: “God” at the apex as a given truth. “To 
become as God,” “to be absorbed into God” — for thousands of 
years these were the most naive and convincing desiderata (but 
what convinces is not necessarily true — it is merely convincing: a 
note for asses). 

One has unlearned the habit of conceding to this posited 
ideal the reality of a person; one has become atheistic. But has 
the ideal itself been renounced? — At bottom, the last metaphy- 
sicians still seek in it true “reality,” the “thing-in-itself” compared 
to which everything else is merely apparent. It is their dogma that 
our apparent world, being so plainly not the expression of this 
ideal, cannot be “true” — and that, at bottom, it does not even lead 
us back to that metaphysical world as its cause. The unconditional, 
representing that highest perfection, cannot possibly be the ground 
of all that is conditional. Schopenhauer wanted it otherwise and 
therefore had to conceive of this metaphysical ground as the 
opposite of the ideal — as “evil, blind will”: that way it could be 



16 


THE WILL TO POWER 


that “which appears,” that which reveals itself in the world of 
appearances. But even so he did not renounce the absoluteness of 
the ideal — he sneaked by. — 

(Kant considered the hypothesis of “intelligible freedom” 
necessary in order to acquit the ens perfection 0 of responsibility for 
the world’s being such-and-such — in short, to account for evil 
and ills: a scandalous bit of logic for a philosopher. — ) 

18 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The most universal sign of the modern age: man has lost 
dignity in his own eyes to an incredible extent. For a long time 
the center and tragic hero of existence in general; then at least 
intent on proving himself closely related to the decisive and es- 
sentially valuable side of existence — like all metaphysicians who 
wish to cling to the dignity of man, with their faith that moral 
values are cardinal values. Those who have abandoned God cling 
that much more firmly to the faith in morality. 10 

19 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Every purely moral value system (that of Buddhism, for 
example) ends in nihilism: this to be expected in Europe. One still 
hopes to get along with a moralism without religious background: 
but that necessarily leads to nihilism. — In religion the constraint 
is lacking to consider ourselves as value-positing. 

20 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The nihilistic question “for what?” is rooted in the old habit 
of supposing that the goal must be put up, given, demanded from 
outside — by some superhuman authority. Having unlearned faith 
in that, one still follows the old habit and seeks another authority 
that can speak unconditionally and command goals and tasks. The 
authority of conscience now steps up front (the more emancipated 
one is from theology, the more imperativistic morality becomes) 

* Perfect being. 

" Cf. Twilight, Chapter IX, section 5 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 515): 
“G. Eliot. They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more 
firmly that they must cling to Christian morality. That is an English con- 
sistency, we do not wish to hold it against little moralistic females h la 
Eliot ” 




17 


book one: European Nihilism 

to compensate for the loss of a personal authority. Or the authority 
of reason. Or the social instinct (the herd). Or history with an 
immanent spirit and a goal within, so one can entrust oneself to it. 
One wants to get around the will, the willing of a goal, the risk of 
positing a goal for oneself", one wants to rid oneself of the re- 
sponsibility (one would accept fatalism). Finally, happiness — and, 
with a touch of Tartuffe, the happiness of the greatest number. 

One says to oneself: 

1. a definite goal is not necessary at all, 

2. cannot possibly be anticipated. 

Just now when the greatest strength of will would be neces- 
sary, it is weakest and least confident. Absolute mistrust regarding 
the organizing strength of the will for the whole. 11 

21 {Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

The perfect nihilist . — The nihilist’s eye idealizes in the direc- 
tion of ugliness and is unfaithful to his memories: it allows them 
to drop, lose their leaves; it does not guard them against the 
corpselike pallor that weakness pours out over what is distant and 
gone. And what he does not do for himself, he also, does not do 
for the whole past of mankind: he lets it drop. 

22 ( Spring-Fall 1887)™ 

Nihilism. It is ambiguous : 

A. Nihilism as a sign of increased power of the spirit: as 
active nihilism. 

B. Nihilism as decline and recession of the power of the 
spirit: as passive nihilism. 

23 {Spring-Fall 1887)™ 

Nihilism as a normal condition. 

It can be a sign of strength: the spirit may have grown so 
strong that previous goals (“convictions,” articles of faith) have 

11 In the margin: “Individual goals and their conflict; collective goals 
versus individual ones. Everybody merely a partisan, including the philoso- 
phers.” See 1911, p. 497. 

” See footnote to section 2, above. 

13 See footnote to section 2, above. 




18 


THE WILL TO POWER 


become incommensurate (for a faith generally expresses the 
constraint of conditions of existence, submission to the authority 
of circumstances under which one flourishes, grows, gains power). 
Or a sign of the lack of strength to posit for oneself, productively, 
a goal, a why, a faith. 

It reaches its maximum of relative strength as a violent 
force of destruction — as active nihilism. 

Its opposite: the weary nihilism that no longer attacks; its 
most famous form, Buddhism; a passive nihilism, a sign of weak- 
ness. The strength of the spirit may be worn out, exhausted, so 
that previous goals and values have become incommensurate and 
no longer are believed; so that the synthesis of values and goals 
(on which every strong culture rests) dissolves and the individual 
values war against each other: disintegration — and whatever re- 
freshes, heals, calms, numbs emerges into the foreground in various 
disguises, religious or moral, or political, or aesthetic, etc. 

24 {Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Nihilism does not only contemplate the “in vain!” nor is it 
merely the belief that everything deserves to perish: one helps 
to destroy. — This is, if you will, illogical; but the nihilist does 
not believe that one needs to be logical. — It is the condition of 
strong spirits and wills, and these do not find it possible to stop 
with the No of “judgment”: their nature demands the No of the 
deed. The reduction to nothing by judgment is seconded by the 
reduction to nothing by hand. 


25 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

On the genesis of the nihilist . — It is only late that one 
musters the courage for what one really knows. 14 That I have 
hitherto been a thorough-going nihilist, I have admitted to myself 
only recently: the energy and radicalism with which I advanced 
as a nihilist deceived me about this basic fact. When one moves 
toward a goal it seems impossible that “goal-lessness as such” is 
the principle of our faith. 

” This note was used in the second aphorism of Twilight of the Idols: 
"Even the most courageous among us only rarely has the courage for that 
which he really knows.” 



book one: European Nihilism 


19 


26 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The pessimism of active energy: the question “for what?” 
after a terrible struggle, even victory. That something is a hun- 
dred times more important than the question of whether we feel 
well or not: basic instinct of all strong natures — and consequently 
also whether others feel well or not. In sum, that we have a goal 
for which one does not hesitate to offer human sacrifices, to risk 
every danger, to take upon oneself whatever is bad and worst: the 
great passion. 


27 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Causes of nihilism: 1. The higher species is lacking, i.e., 
those whose inexhaustible fertility and power keep up the faith 
in man. (One should recall what one owes to Napoleon: almost 
all of the higher hopes of this century.) 

2. The lower species (“herd,” “mass,” “society”) unlearns 
modesty and blows up its needs into cosmic and metaphysical 
values. In this way the whole of existence is vulgarized: in so far 
as the mass is dominant it bullies the exceptions, so they lose 
their faith in themselves and become nihilists. 

All attempts to think up higher types failed (“romanticism”; 
the artist, the philosopher; against Carlyle’s attempt to ascribe 
to them the highest moral values). 

The resistance to higher types as a result. 

Decline and insecurity of all higher types. The fight against 
the genius (“folk poetry,” etc.). Pity for die lowly and suffering 
as a measure for the height of a soul. 

The philosopher is lacking who interprets the deed and does 
not merely transpose it. 


28 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Main proposition. How complete nihilism is the necessary 
consequence of the ideals entertained hitherto. 15 

Incomplete nihilism; its forms: we live in the midst of it. 
Attempts to escape nihilism without revaluating our values 
so far: they produce the opposite, make the problem more acute. 


35 See 1911, p. 498. This paragraph has been omitted in all editions. 



20 


THE WILL TO POWER 


29 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The ways of self-narcotization . — 16 Deep down: not know- 
ing whither. Emptiness. Attempt to get over it by intoxication: 
intoxication as music; intoxication as cruelty in the tragic enjoy- 
ment of the destruction of the noblest; intoxication as blind 
enthusiasm for single human beings or ages (as hatred, etc.) , — At- 
tempt to work blindly as an instrument of science: opening one’s 
eyes to the many small enjoyments; e.g., also in the quest of knowl- 
edge (modesty toward oneself); resignation to generalizing about 
oneself, a pathos; mysticism, the voluptuous enjoyment of eternal 
emptiness; art “for its own sake” {"le fait") and “pure knowledge” 
as narcotic states of disgust with oneself; some kind or other of 
continual work, or of some stupid little fanaticism; a medley of 
all means, sickness owing to general immoderation (debauchery 
kills enjoyment). 

1. Weakness of the will as a result. 

2. Extreme pride and the humiliation of petty weakness felt 
in contrast. 


30 (Nov. 1887-March 1888; rev. 1888 ) 

The time has come when we have to pay for having been 
Christians for two thousand years: we are losing the center of 
gravity by virtue of which we lived; we are lost for a while. 
Abruptly we plunge into the opposite valuations, with all the 
energy that such an extreme overvaluation of man has generated 
in man. 

Now everything is false through and through, mere "words * 
chaotic, weak, or extravagant: 

a. one attempts a kind of this-woridly solution, but in tl 
same sense — that of the eventual triumph of truth, love, am 
justice (socialism: “equality of the person”); 

b. one also tries to hold on to the moral ideal (with the 
pre-eminence of what is un-egoistic, self-denial, negation of the 
will); 

c. one tries to hold on even to the “beyond” — even if only 
as some antilogical “x " — but one immediately interprets it in such 

"This heading was supplied by Peter Gast. (See my note “On the 
Editions of The Will to Power.") 




BOOK one: European Nihilism 


21 


a way that some sort of old-fashioned metaphysical comfort can 
be derived from it; 

d. one tries to find in events an old-fashioned divine govern- 
ance — an order of things that rewards, punishes, educates, and 
betters; 

e. one still believes in good and evil and experiences the 
triumph of the good and the annihilation of evil as a task (that 
is English; typical case: the flathead John Stuart Mill); 

f. contempt for what is “natural,” for desire, for the ego: 
attempt to understand even the highest spirituality and art as the 
consequence of depersonalization and as desinteressement ; 

g. the church is still permitted to obtrude into all important 
experiences and main points of individual life to hallow them 
and give them a higher meaning: we still have the “Christian 
state,” “Christian marriage” — 17 

31 ( 1884 ) 

There have been more thoughtful and thought-addicted ages 
than ours: ages, e.g., like that in which the Buddha appeared, 
when after centuries of quarrels among sects the people them- 
selves were as deeply lost in the ravines of philosophic doctrines 
as European nations were at times in the subtleties of religious 
dogmas. Surely, one should not let “literature” and the press seduce 
us to think well of the “spirit” of our time: the existence of millions 
of spiritists and a Christianity that goes in for gymnastics of that 
gruesome ugliness that characterizes all English inventions are 
more instructive. 

European pessimism is still in its early stages — bears witness 
against itself: it still lacks that tremendous, yearning rigidity of 
expression in which the Nothing is reflected, once found in India; 
it is still far too contrived and too little “organic” — too much a 
pessimism of scholars and poets: I mean, much of it is excogitated 
and invented, is “created” and not a “cause.” 

11 According to 1911, p. 498, the manuscript contains an alternative 
draft for the end of the first paragraph, as follows: 

“with the same amount of energy with which we used to be Christians 
— with which the absurd exaggeration of the Christian. . . .” 

This sentence breaks off, but a few other phrases follow: 

"(1) the ‘immortal soul’; the eternal value of the ‘person’ — (2) the 
solution, the judgment the evaluation in the ‘beyond’ — (3) moral values 
as the supreme values, the ‘salvation of the soul’ as one’s cardinal interest — 
(4) ‘sin,’ ‘earthly,’ ‘flesh,’ 'appetites’ stigmatized as ‘world,’ ’’ 




22 


THE WILL TO POWER 


32 ( Summer-Fall 1888 ) 

Critique of pessimism to date. — Resistance to eudaemonistic 
considerations as the last reduction to the question: what does 
it mean? The reduction of growing gloom. — 

Our pessimism: the world does not have the value we thought 
it had. Our faith itself has so increased our desire for knowledge 
that today we have to say this. Initial result: it seems worth less; 
that is how it is experienced initially. It is only in this sense that 
we are pessimists; i.e., in our determination to admit this revalua- 
tion to ourselves without any reservation, and to stop telling our- 
selves tales — lies — the old way. 

That is precisely how we find the pathos that impels us to 
seek new values. In sum: the world might be far more valuable 
than we used to believe; we must see through the naivete of our 
ideals, and while we thought that we accorded it the highest inter- 
pretation, we may not even have given our human existence a 
moderately fair value. 

What has been deified ? The value instincts in the community 
(that which made possible its continued existence). 

What has been slandered ? That which set apart the higher 
men from the lower, the desires that create clefts. 


33 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Causes of the advent of pessimism: 

1. that the most powerful desires of life that have the most 
future have hitherto been slandered, so a curse weighs on life; 

2. that the growing courage and integrity and the bolder 
mistrust that now characterize man comprehend that these instincts 
are inseparable from life, and one therefore turns against life; 

3. that only the most mediocre, who have no feeling at all 
for this conflict, flourish while the higher kind miscarries and, 
as a product of degeneration, invites antipathy — that the mediocre, 
on the other hand, when they pose as the goal and meaning, arouse 
indignation (that nobody is able any more to answer any “for 
what?”); 

4. that diminution, sensitivity to pain, restlessness, haste, 
and hustling grow continually — that it becomes easier and easier 
to recognize this whole commotion, this so-called “civilization,” 



book one: European Nihilism 


23 


and that the individual, faced with this tremendous machinery, 
loses courage and submits. 

34 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Modem pessimism is an expression of the uselessness of the 
modern world — not of the world of existence. 

35 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The “predominance of suffering over pleasure” or the op- 
posite (hedonism): these two doctrines are already signposts to 
nihilism. 

For in both of these cases no ultimate meaning is posited 
except the appearance of pleasure or displeasure. 

But that is how a kind of man speaks that no longer dares 
to posit a will, a purpose, a meaning.- for any healthier kind of 
man the value of life is certainly not measured by the standard 
of these trifles. And suffering might predominate, and in spite 
of that a powerful will might exist, a Yes to life, a need for this 
predominance. 

“Life is not worthwhile”; “resignation”; “why the tears?” — 
a weakly and sentimental way of thinking. "Un monstre gai vaut 
mieux qu’un sentimental ennuyeux.” 18 

36 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The philosophical nihilist is convinced that all that happens 
is meaningless and in vain; and that there ought not to be any- 
thing meaningless and in vain. But whence this: there ought not 
to be? From where does one get this “meaning,” this standard? — 
At bottom, the nihilist thinks that the sight of such a bleak, useless 
existence makes a philosopher feel dissatisfied, bleak, desperate. 
Such an insight goes against our finer sensibility as philosophers. 
It amounts to the absurd valuation: to have any right to be, the 
character of existence would have to give the philosopher 
pleasure . — 

Now it is easy to see that pleasure and displeasure can only 
be means in the course of events: the question remains whether 

18 “A gay monster is worth more than a sentimental bore.” Cf. section 
91 below. 



24 


THE WILL TO POWER 


we are at all able to see the "meaning,” the “aim,” whether the 
question of meaninglessness or its opposite is not insoluble for 
us. — 


37 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The development of pessimism into nihilism. — Denaturaliza- 
tion of values. Scholasticism of values. Detached and idealistic, 
values, instead of dominating and guiding action, turn against 
action and condemn it. 

Opposites replace natural degrees and ranks. Hatred against 
the order of rank. Opposites suit a plebeian age because easier 
to comprehend. 

The repudiated world versus an artificially built “true, valu- 
able” one. — Finally: one discovers of what material one has 
built the “true world": and now all one has left is the repudiated 
world, and one adds this supreme disappointment to the reasons 
why it deserves to be repudiated. 

At this point nihilism is reached: all one has left are the 
values that pass judgment — nothing else. 

Here the problem of strength and weakness originates: 

1. The weak perish of it; 

2. those who are stronger destroy what does not perish; 

3. those who are strongest overcome the values that pass 
judgment. 

In sum this constitutes the tragic age. 

38 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Recently much mischief has been done with an accidental 
and in every way unsuitable word: everywhere “pessimism” is 
discussed, and the question is debated whether pessmism or op- 
timism is right> as if there must be answers to that. 

One fails to see, although it could hardly be more obvious, 
that pessimism is not a problem but a symptom, that the name 
should be replaced by “nihilism,” that the question whether not- 
to-be is better than to be is itself a disease, a sign of decline, an 
idiosyncrasy. 

The nihilistic movement is merely the expression of physio- 
logical decadence. 



BOOK one: European Nihilism 


25 


39 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

To be comprehended: That every kind of decay and sickness 
has continually helped to form overall value judgments; that 
decadence has actually gained predominance in the value judgments 
that have become accepted; that we not only have to fight against 
the consequences of all present misery of degeneration, but that 
all previous decadence is still residual, i.e., survives. Such a total 
aberration of mankind from its basic instincts, such a total de- 
cadence of value judgments — that is the question mark par ex- 
cellence, the real riddle that the animal “man” poses for the 
philosopher. 


40 (March-1 une 1888 ) 

The concept of decadence . — Waste, decay, elimination need 
not be condemned: they are necessary consequences of life, of the 
growth of life. The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as 
any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish 
it. Reason demands, on the contrary, that we do justice to it. 

It is a disgrace for all socialist systematizes that they suppose 
there could be circumstances — social combinations — in which 
vice, disease, prostitution, distress would no longer grow. — But 
that means condemning life. — A society is not free to remain 
young. And even at the height of its strength it has to form refuse 
and waste materials. The more energetically and boldly it advances, 
the richer it will be in failures and deformities, the closer to de- 
cline. — Age is not abolished by means of institutions. Neither is 
disease. Nor vice. 


41 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Basic insight regarding the nature of decadence: its supposed 
causes are- its consequences. 

This changes the whole perspective of moral problems. 

The whole moral struggle against vice, luxury, crime, even 
disease, appears a naivete and superfluous: there is no “improve- 
ment” (against repentance). 

Decadence itself is nothing to be fought: it is absolutely 



26 


THE WILL TO POWER 


necessary and belongs to every age and every people. What should 
be fought vigorously is the contagion of the healthy parts of the 
organism. 

Is this being done? The opposite is done. Precisely that is 
attempted in the name of humanity. 

— How are the supreme values held so far, related to this 
basic biological question? Philosophy, religion, morality, art, etc. 

(The cure: e.g., militarism, beginning with Napoleon who 
considered civilization his natural enemy.) 19 


42 ( March-June 1888) 


First principle: 

The supposed causes of degeneration are its consequences. 

But the supposed remedies of degeneration are also mere 
palliatives against some of its effects: the “cured” are merely one 
type of the degenerates. 

Consequences of decadence: vice — the addiction to vice; 
sickness — sickliness; crime — criminality; celibacy — sterility; hys- 
tericism — weakness of the will; alcoholism; pessimism; anarchism; 
libertinism (also of the spirit). The slanderers, underminers, 
doubters, destroyers. 


43 ( March-June 1888) 

On the concept of decadence. 

1. Skepticism is a consequence of decadence, as is libertinism 
of the spirit. 

2. The corruption of morals is a consequence of decadence 
(weakness of the will, need for strong stimuli). 

3. Attempted cures, psychological and moral, do not change 
the course of decadence, do not arrest it, are physiologically 
naught : 

Insight into the great nullity of these presumptuous “re- 
actions”; they are forms of narcotization against certain terrible 
consequences; they do not eliminate the morbid element; often 
they are heroic attempts to annul the man of decadence and to 
realize the minimum of his harmfulness. 

“With sections 41-44 cf. Twilight of the Idols, “Morality as Anti- 
Nature” and ‘The Four Great Errors,” the first being ‘The error of con- 
fusing cause and effect"; also sections 334 and 380 below. 




book one: European Nihilism 27 

4. Nihilism is no cause but merely the logical result of de- 
cadence. 

5. The “good” and “bad” man are merely two types of de- 
cadence: in all basic phenomena they agree. 

6. The social question is a consequence of decadence. 

7. Sicknesses, especially those affecting nerves and head, are 
signs that the defensive strength of the strong natures is lacking; 
precisely this is suggested by irritability, so pleasure and displeasure 
become foreground problems. 

44 ( Spring-Summer 1888 ) 30 

Most general types of decadence: 

1. Believing one chooses remedies, one chooses in fact that 
which hastens exhaustion; Christianity is an example (to name the 
greatest example of such an aberration of the instincts); “progress” 
is another instance. — 

2. One loses one’s power of resistance against stimuli — and 
comes to be at the mercy of accidents: one coarsens and enlarges 
one’s experiences tremendously — “depersonalization,” disintegra- 
tion of the will; example: one whole type of morality, the altruistic 
one which talks much of pity — and is distinguished by the weakness 
of the personality, so that it is sounded, too, 21 and like an over- 
stimulated string vibrates continually — an extreme irritability. — 

3. One confuses cause and effect: one fails to understand 
decadence as a physiological condition and mistakes its conse- 
quences for the real cause of the indisposition; example: all of 
religious morality. — 

4. One longs for a condition in which one no longer suffers: 
life is actually experienced as the ground of ills; one esteems un- 
conscious states, without feeling, (sleep, fainting) as incomparably 
more valuable than conscious ones; 22 from this a method — 


” In the margin: “On the History of Nihilism.” 

11 "Sodass sie mitklingt"'. Cf. Rilke’s famous "Liebes-Lied" (1907), re- 
printed with translation in Walter Kaufmann, Twenty German Poets; also, 
Thus Spoke Zarathustra IV (pity as Zarathustra’s great temptation), in 
Portable Nietzsche. 

33 Cf. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Novalis’ Hymnen an die Nacht 
(also in Twenty German Poets). 



28 


THE WILL TO POWER 


45 (March- June 1888) 

On the hygiene of the "weak .” — Everything done in weak- 
ness fails. Moral: do nothing. Only there is the hitch that pre- 
cisely the strength to suspend activity, not to react, is sickest of 
all under the influence of weakness: one never reacts more quickly 
and blindly than when one should not react at all. — 

A strong nature manifests itself by waiting and postponing 
any reaction: 23 it is as much characterized by a certain adiaphoria - A 
as weakness is by an involuntary countermovement and the 
suddenness and inevitability of “action.” — The will is weak— 
and the prescription to avoid stupidities would be to have a strong 
will and to do nothing . — Contradictio . — A kind of self-destruc- 
tion; the instinct of preservation is compromised. — The weak 
harm themselves. — That is the type of decadence. — 

In fact, we find a tremendous amount of reflection about 
practices that would lead to impassability. The instinct is on the 
right track insofar as doing nothing is more expedient than doing 
something. — 

All the practices of the orders, the solitary philosophers, the 
fakirs are inspired by the right value standard that a certain kind 
of man cannot benefit himself more than by preventing himself 
as much as possible from acting. — 

Means of relief: absolute obedience, machinelike activity, 
avoidance of people and things that would demand instant deci- 
sions and actions. 


46 ( March- June 1888 ) 

Weakness of the will: that is a metaphor that can prove mis- 
leading. For there is no will, and consequently neither a strong 
nor a weak will. 20 The multitude and disgregation of impulses 
and the lack of any systematic order among them result in a “weak 
will”; their coordination under a single predominant impulse re- 
sults in a “strong will”: in the first case it is the oscillation and 

31 Cf. Twilight ( Portable Nietzsche), “Morality as Anti-Nature,” section 
2 (p. 487), "What the Germans Lack,” section 6 (p. 511), and also “Skir- 
mishes,” section 10 (p. 519). 

” Indifference. 

“Contrast section 84. 



book one : European Nihilism 29 

the lack of gravity; in the latter, the precision and clarity of the 
direction. 


47 ( March-June 1888 ) 

What is inherited is not the sickness but sickliness : the lack 
of strength to resist the danger of infections, etc., the broken 
resistance; morally speaking, resignation and meekness in face 
of the enemy. 

I have asked myself if all the supreme values of previous 
philosophy, morality, and religion could not be compared to the 
values of the weakened, the mentally ill, and neurasthenics: in a 
milder form, they represent the same ills. — 

It is the value of all morbid states that they show us under 
a magnifying glass certain states that are normal — but not easily 
visible when normal. — 

Health and sickness are not essentially different, as the 
ancient physicians and some practitioners even today suppose. 
One must not make of them distinct principles or entities that 
fight over the living organism and turn it into their arena. That is 
silly nonsense and chatter that is no good any longer. In fact, 
there are only differences in degree between these two kinds of 
existence: the exaggeration, the disproportion, the nonharmony 
of the normal phenomena constitute the pathological state (Claude 
Bernard). 

Just as “evil” can be considered as exaggeration, disharmony, 
disproportion, “ the good ” may be a protective diet against the 
danger of exaggeration, disharmony, and disproportion. 

Hereditary weakness as the dominant feeling: cause of the 
supreme values. 

N.B. One wants weakness: why? Usually because one is 
necessarily weak. 

— Weakness as a task: weakening the desires, the feelings 
of pleasure and displeasure, the will to power, to a sense of pride, 
to want to have and have more; weakening as meekness; weaken- 
ing as faith; weakening as aversion and shame in the face of 
everything natural, as negation of life, as sickness and habitual 
weakness — weakening as the renunciation of revenge, of resistance, 
of enmity and wrath. 

The error in treatment: one does not want to fight weakness 



30 


THE WILL TO POWER 


with a systeme fortifiant , 26 but rather with a kind of justification 
and moralization; i.e., with an interpretation . — 

— Two totally different states confounded: e.g., the calm of 
strength, which is essentially forbearance from reaction (type of 
the gods whom nothing moves) — and the calm of exhaustion,. 
rigidity to the point of anesthesia. All philosophic-ascetic pro- 
cedures aim at the second, but really intend the former — for they 
attribute predicates to the attained state as if a divine state had 
been attained. 


48 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The most dangerous misunderstanding . — One concept ap- 
parently permits no confusion or ambiguity: that of exhaustion. 
Exhaustion can be acquired or inherited — in any case it changes 
the aspect of things, the value of things . — 

As opposed to those who, from the fullness they represent 
and feel, involuntarily give to things and see them fuller, more 
powerful, and pregnant with future — who at least are able to 
bestow something — the exhausted diminish and botch all they 
see — they impoverish the value: they are harmful. — 

About this no mistake seems possible: yet history contains 
the gruesome fact that the exhausted have always been mistaken 
for the fullest — and the fullest for the most harmful. 

Those poor in life, the weak, impoverish life; those rich in 
life, the strong, enrich it. The first are parasites of life; the second 
give presents to it. — How is it possible to confound these two? 

When the exhausted appeared with the gesture of the highest 
activity and energy (when degeneration effected an excess of 
spiritual and nervous discharge), they were mistaken for the rich. 
They excited fear. — The cult of the fool is always the cult of 
those rich in life, the powerful. The fanatic, the possessed, the 
religious epileptic, all eccentrics have been experienced as the 
highest types of power: as divine. 

This kind of strength that excites fear was considered pre- 
eminently divine: here was the origin of authority; here one inter- 
preted, heard, sought wisdom. — This led to the development, 
almost everywhere, of a will to “deify,” i.e., a will to the typical 
degeneration of spirit, body, and nerves: an attempt to find the 
way to this higher level of being. To make oneself sick, mad, to 


“ A method that strengthens. 



book one: European Nihilism 


31 


provoke the symptoms of derangement and ruin — that was taken 
for becoming stronger, more superhuman, more terrible, wiser. 27 
One thought that in this way one became so rich in power that 
one could give from one’s fullness. Wherever one adored one 
sought one who could give. 

Here the experience of intoxication proved misleading. This 
increases the feeling of power in the highest degree — therefore, 
naively judged, power itself. On the highest rung of power one 
placed the most intoxicated, the ecstatic. ( — There are two sources 
of intoxication: the over-great fullness of life and a state of patho- 
logical nourishment of the brain.) 28 

49 {Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

Acquired, not inherited, exhaustion: (1) Inadequate nourish- 
ment, often from ignorance about norishment; e.g., among scholars. 
(2) Erotic precociousness: the curse in particular of French youth, 
above all in Paris, who emerge into the world from their lycees 
botched and soiled and never free themselves again from the chain 
of contemptible inclinations, ironical and disdainful toward them- 
selves — galley slaves with all refinements (incidentally, in most 
cases already a symptom of the decadence of race and family, like 
all hypersensitivity; also the contagion of the milieu — to let one- 
self be determined by one’s environment is decadent). (3) Alcohol- 
ism — not the instinct but the habit, the stupid imitation, the 
cowardly or vain assimilation to a dominant regime: 

What a blessing a Jew is among Germans! How much dull- 
ness, how blond the head, how blue the eye; the lack of esprit in 
face, word, posture; the lazy stretching-oneself, the German need 
for a good rest — not prompted by overwork but by the disgusting 
stimulation and overstimulation through alcoholica. — 

50 {1888) 

Theory of exhaustion. — Vice, the mentally ill (resp., the 
artists — ), the criminals, the anarchists — these are not the op- 
pressed classes but the scum of previous society of all classes. — 

Realizing that all our classes are permeated by these elements, 
we understand that modem society is no “society,” no “body,” 

" Cf. The Dawn, section 14. 

88 Cf. ibid., section 188. 


32 


THE WILL TO POWER 


but a sick conglomerate of chandalas — a society that no longer 
has the strength to excrete. 

To what extent sickliness, owing to the symbiosis of centuries, 
goes much deeper: 

modem virtue, 1 

modern spirituality, i as forms of sickness, 
our science 1 


51 {M arch-June 1888) 

The state of corruption . — To understand how all forms of 
corruption belong together, without forgetting the Christian cor- 
ruption (Pascal as type) as well as the socialist-communist corrup- 
tion (a consequence of the Christian — from the point of view of 
the natural sciences, the socialists’ conception of the highest society 
is the lowest in the order of rank); also the “beyond” corruption: 
as if outside the actual world, that of becoming, there were another 
world of being. 

Here no terms are permissible: here one has to eradicate, 
annihilate, wage war; everywhere the Christian-nihilistic value 
standard still has to be pulled up and fought under every mask; 
e.g., in present-day sociology, in present-day music, in present-day 
pessimism (all of them forms of the Christian value ideal). 

Either the one is true or the other: true here means elevating 
the type of man. 

The priest, the shepherd of souls, as objectionable forms of 
existence. AH of education to date, helpless, untenable, without 
center of gravity, stained by the contradiction of values. 

52 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Nature is not immoral when it has no pity for the degenerate: 
on the contrary, the growth of physiological and moral ills among 
mankind is the consequence of a pathological and unnatural 
morality. The sensibility of the majority of men is pathological 
and unnatural. 

Why is it that mankind is corrupt morally and physiologi- 
cally? — The body perishes when an organ is altered. The right of 
altruism cannot be derived from physiology; nor can the right to 
help and to an equality of lots: these are prizes for the degenerate 
and underprivileged. 



book one: European Nihilism 


33 


There is no solidarity in a society in which there are sterile, 
unproductive, and destructive elements — which, incidentally, will 
have descendants even more degenerate than they are themselves. 


53 ( March- June 1888 ) 

Even the ideals of science can be deeply, yet completely un- 
consciously influenced by decadence: our entire sociology is proof 
of that. The objection to it is that from experience it knows only 
the form of the decay of society, and inevitably it takes its own 
instincts of decay for the norms of sociological judgment. 

In these norms the life that is declining in present-day Europe 
formulates its social ideals: one cannot tell them from the ideals 
of old races that have outlived themselves. — 

The herd instinct, then — a power that has now become 
sovereign — is something totally different from the instinct of an 
aristocratic society, and the value of the units determines the 
significance of the sum. — Our entire sociology simply does not 
know any other instinct than that of the herd, i.e., that of the 
sum of zeroes — where every zero has “equal rights,” where it is 
virtuous to be zero. — 

The valuation that is today applied to the different forms of 
society is entirely identical with that which assigns a higher value 
to peace than to war: but this judgment is antibiologieal, is itself 
a fruit of the decadence of life. — Life is a consequence of war, 
society itself a means to war. — As a biologist, Mr. Herbert 
Spencer is a decadent; as a moralist, too (he considers the triumph 
of altruism a desideratum! ! !). 29 

54 ( Jan.-Fall 1888) 

It is my good fortune that after whole millennia of error and 
confusion I have rediscovered the way that leads to a Yes and a 
No. 

I teach the No to all that makes weak — that exhausts. 

I teach the Yes to all that strengthens, that stores up strength, 
that justifies the feeling of strength. 

So far one has taught neither the one nor the other: virtue 

"Cf. Twilight ( Portable Nietzsche), section 37 (p. 541): “Mr. Herbert 
Spencer is a decadent too: he considers the triumph of altruism a desid- 
eratum!” 




34 


THE WILL TO POWER 


has been taught, mortification of the self, pity, even the negation 
of life. All these are the values of the exhausted. 

Prolonged reflection on the physiology of exhaustion forced 
me to ask to what extent the judgments of the exhausted had 
penetrated the world of values. 

My result was as surprising as possible, even for me who was 
at home in many a strange world: I found that all of the supreme 
value judgments — all that have come to dominate mankind, at 
least that part that has become tame — can be derived from the 
judgments of the exhausted. 

Under the holiest names I pulled up destructive tendencies; 
one has called God what weakens, teaches weakness, infects with 
weakness. — I found that the “good man” is one of the forms in 
which decadence affirms itself. 

That virtue of which Schopenhauer still taught that it is the 
supreme, the only virtue, and the basis of all virtues — precisely 
pity I recognized as more dangerous than any vice. To cross as 
a matter of principle selection in the species and its purification of 
refuse — that has so far been called virtue par excellence . — 

One should respect fatality — that fatality that says to the 
weak: perish! — 

One has called it God — that one resisted fatality, that one 
corrupted mankind and made it rot. — One should not use the 
name of God in vain. — 

The race is corrupted — not by its vices but by its ignorance; 
it is corrupted because it did not recognize exhaustion as exhaus- 
tion: mistakes about physiological states are the source of all ills. — 

Virtue is our greatest misunderstanding. 

Problem: How did the exhausted come to make the laws 
about values? Put differently: How did those come to power who 
are the last? — How did the instinct of the human animal come to 
stand on its head? — 80 

30 Cf. the beginning of The Antichrist, which was written a little later. 

According to 1911, pp. 498 f, this note is superscribed “A Preface” and 
has the appearance of a quick draft — and “a few paragraphs that did not fit 
well into the context had to be omitted.” The original version of the second 
paragraph read: “Vice is whatever weakens — whatever exhausts.” And the 
next paragraph: “Conversely, I call good whatever makes strong, whatever 
stores. . . .” And the following passages were omitted by the original editor: 

“1 have to teach first of all that crime, celibacy, and sickness are conse- 
quences of exhaustion. [Nietzsche himself, of course, was celibate and far 
from well.] 




book one: European Nihilism 


35 


55 ( June 10, 1887) n 

Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones but 
by extreme positions of the opposite kind. Thus the belief in the 
absolute immorality of nature, in aim- and meaninglessness, is 
the psychologically necessary affect once the belief in God and 
an essentially moral order becomes untenable. Nihilism appears at 
that point, not that the displeasure at existence has become greater 
than before but because one has come to mistrust any “meaning” 
in suffering, indeed in existence. One interpretation has collapsed; 
but because it was considered the interpretation it now seems as 
if there were no meaning at all in existence, as if everything were 
in vain. 


* 

That this “in vain” constitutes the character of present-day 
nihilism remains to be shown. The mistrust of our previous valua- 
tions grows until it becomes the question: “Are not all ‘values’ 
lures that draw out the comedy without bringing it closer to a 
solution?” Duration “in vain,” .without end or aim, is the most 
paralyzing idea, particularly when one understands that one is 
being fooled and yet lacks the power not to be fooled. 

* 

Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence 
as it is, without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without 
any finale of nothingness: " the eternal recurrence.” 32 

“Plunging down — negating life — that, too, was supposed to be experi- 
enced as a kind of sunrise transfiguration, deification. 

“I want to make the concept of ‘progress’ more precise and am afraid 
that toward that end I have to fly in the face of modern ideas (but I am 
comforted by the fact that they really have no faces but only masks). 

“Diseased limbs should be amputated: the first moral of society. 

“A correction of the instincts: their detachment from ignorance — 

“I despise those who demand of society that it ought to protect itself 
from those who would harm it. That is not enough by a long shot. Society 
is a body in which no member may be diseased without endangering the 
whole. A diseased member that corrupts [the reading of this word is not 
certain] has to be amputated: I shall name the amputable types of society.” 

31 See the footnote to section 4 above. 

“ For a detailed discusion of this idea, see Kaufmann’s Nietzsche, Chap- 
ter 11. Cf. also sections 1,053 f] below. 




36 


THE WILL TO POWER 


This is the most extreme form of nihilism: the nothing (the 
“meaningless”), eternally! 

The European form of Buddhism: the energy of knowledge 
and strength compels this belief. It is the most scientific of all 
possible hypotheses. We deny end goals: if existence had one it 
would have to have been reached. 

* 

So one understands that an antithesis to pantheism is at- 
tempted here: for "everything perfect, divine, eternal” also compels 
a faith in the “eternal recurrence.” Question: does morality make 
impossible this pantheistic affirmation of all things, too? At bottom, 
it is only the moral god that has been overcome. Does it make sense 
to conceive a god “beyond good and evil”? Would a pantheism 
in this sense be possible? Can we remove the idea of a goal from 
the process and then affirm the process in spite of this? — This 
would be the case if something were attained at every moment 
within this process — and always the same. Spinoza reached such 
an affirmative position in so far as every moment has a logical 
necessity, and with his basic instinct, which was logical, he felt 
a sense of triumph that the world should be constituted that way. 

* 

But his case is only a single case. Every basic character trait 
that is encountered at the bottom of every event, that finds ex- 
pression in every event, would have to lead every individual who 
experienced it as his own basic character trait to welcome every 
moment of universal existence with a sense of triumph. The 
crucial point would be that one experienced this basic character 
trait in oneself as good, valuable — with pleasure. 

It was morality that protected life against despair and the 
leap into nothing, among men and classes who were violated and 
oppressed by men: for it is the experience of being powerless 
against men, not against nature, that generates the most desperate 
embitterment against existence. Morality treated the violent despots, 
the doers of violence, the “masters” in general as the enemies 
against whom the common man must be protected, which means 
first of all encouraged and strengthened. Morality consequently 
taught men to hate and despise most profoundly what is the basic 



book one: European Nihilism 37 

character trait of those who rule: their will to power. To abolish, 
deny, and dissolve this morality— that would mean looking at the 
best-hated drive with an opposite feeling and valuation. If the 
suffering and oppressed lost the faith that they have the right to 
despise the will to power, they would enter the phase of hopeless 
despair. This would be the case if this trait were essential to life 
and it could be shown that even in this will to morality this very 
“will to power” were hidden, and even this hatred and contempt 
were still a will to power. The oppressed would come to see that 
they were on the same plain with the oppressors, without preroga- 
tive, without higher rank. 


* 

Rather the opposite! There is nothing to life that has value, 
except the degree of power — assuming that life itself is the will to 
power. Morality guarded the underprivileged against nihilism by 
assigning to each an infinite value, a metaphysical value, and by 
placing each in an order that did not agree with the worldly order 
of rank and power: it taught resignation, meekness, etc. Supposing 
that the faith in this morality would perish, then the underprivileged 
would no longer have their comfort — and they would perish. 

* 

This perishing takes the form of self-destruction — the instinc- 
tive selection of that which must destroy. Symptoms of this self- 
destruction of the underprivileged: self-vivisection, poisoning, 
intoxication, romanticism, above all the instinctive need for actions 
that turn the powerful into mortal enemies (as it were, one breeds 
one’s own hangmen); the will to destruction as the will of a still 
deeper instinct, the instinct of self-destruction, the will for nothing- 
ness. 


• * 

Nihilism as a symptom that the underprivileged have no 
comfort left; that they destroy in order to be destroyed; that with- 
out morality they no longer have any reason to “resign themselves” 
— that they place themselves on the plain of the opposite principle 
and also want power by compelling the powerful to become their 
hangmen. This is the European form of Buddhism — doing No 
after all existence has lost its “meaning.” 



38 


THE WILL TO POWER 


* 

It is not that “distress” has grown: on the contrary. “God, 
morality, resignation,” were remedies on terribly low rungs of 
misery: active nihilism appears in relatively much more favorable 
conditions. The feeling that morality has been overcome presup- 
poses a fair degree of spiritual culture, and this in turn that one 
is relatively well off. A certain spiritual weariness that, owing to 
the long fight of philosophical opinions, has reached the most 
hopeless skepticism regarding all philosophy, is another sign of 
the by no means low position of these nihilists. Consider the situa- 
tion in which the Buddha appeared. The doctrine of the eternal 
recurrence would have scholarly presuppositions (as did the 
Buddha’s doctrine; e.g., the concept of causality, etc.). 

* 

What does “underprivileged” mean? Above all, physiologi- 
cally — no longer politically. The unhealthiest kind of man in Eu- 
rope (in all classes) furnishes the soil for this nihilism: they will 
experience the belief in the eternal recurrence as a curse, struck by 
which one no longer shrinks from any action; not to be extinguished 
passively but to extinguish everything that is so aim- and meaning- 
less, although this is a mere convulsion, a blind rage at the insight 
that everything has been for eternities — even this moment of 
nihilism and lust for destruction. — It is the value of such a crisis 
that it purifies, that it pushes together related elements to perish 
of each other, that it assigns common tasks to men who have 
opposite ways of thinking — and it also brings to light the weaker 
and less secure among them and thus promotes an order of rank 
according to strength, from the point of view of health: those who 
command are recognized as those who command, those who obey 
as those who obey. Of course, outside every existing social order. 

* 

Who will prove to be the strongest in the course of this? 
The most moderate; those who do not require any extreme articles 
of faith; those who not only concede but love a fair amount of 
accidents and nonsense; those who can think of man with a con- 
siderable reduction of his value without becoming small and weak 
on that account: those richest in health who are equal to most 
misfortunes and therefore not so afraid of misfortunes — human 



book ONE: European Nihilism 39 

beings who are sure of their power and represent the attained 
strength of humanity with conscious pride. 


* 

How would such a human being even think of the eternal 
recurrence? 


56 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Periods of European Nihilism 

The period of unclarity, of all kinds of tentative men who 
would conserve the old without letting go of the new. 

The period of clarity: one understands that the old and the 
new are basically opposite, the old values born of declining and 
the new ones of ascending life — that all the old ideals are hostile 
to life (born of decadence and agents of decadence, even if in the 
magnificent Sunday clothes of morality). We understand the 
old and are far from strong enough for something new. 

The period of the three great affects: contempt, pity, destruc- 
tion. 

The period of catastrophe: the advent of a doctrine that 
sifts men — driving the weak to decisions, and the strong as well — 



II. HISTORY OF 
EUROPEAN NIHILISM 


57 (1884) 

My friends, it was hard for us when we were young: we suf- 
fered youth itself like a serious sickness. That is due to the time 
into which we have been thrown® 3 — a time of extensive inner 
decay and disintegration, a time that with all its weaknesses, and 
even with its best strength, opposes the spirit of youth. Disintegra- 
tion characterizes this time, and thus uncertainty: nothing stands 
firmly on its feet or on a hard faith in itself; one lives for tomorrow, 
as the day after tomorrow is dubious . 34 Everything on our way 
is slippery and dangerous, and the ice that still supports us has 
become thin: all of us feel the warm, uncanny breath of the thaw- 
ing wind ; 35 where we still walk, soon no one will be able to walk. 


58 (1885-1888) 

If this is not an age of decay and declining vitality, it is at 
least one of headlong and arbitrary experimentation : — and it is 
probable that a superabundance of bungled experiments should 
create an overall impression as of decay — and perhaps even decay 
itself. 


59 (1885-1886) 

Toward a History of the Modern Eclipse 36 

The state nomads (civil servants, etc.): without home. 

The decline of the family. 

The “good man” as a symptom of exhaustion. 

Justice as will to power (breeding). 

”Geworfen. In Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit (1927; Being and Time, 
1962), Geworfenheit (thrownness) becomes an important category (sections 
29, 31, 38, 58, 68b). 

"This is not how most of Nietzsche’s contemporaries felt in 1884, 

“Cf. Zarathustra III, "On Old and New Tablets,” section 8 ( Portable 
Nietzsche, p. 313). 

“ Verdusterung. 




book one: European Nihilism 


41 


Lasciviousness and neurosis. 

Black music: whither refreshing music? 

The anarchist. 

Contempt for man, nausea. 

Deepest difference: whether hunger or overabundance be- 
comes creative? The former generates the ideals of romanticism. 87 

Nordic unnaturalness. 

The need for alcoholica: the “distress” of the workers. 

Philosophical nihilism. 

60 (1885) 

The slow emergence and rise of the middle and lower classes 
(including the lower kind of spirit and body), of which one finds 
many preludes before the French Revolution — and it would have 
taken place without the Revolution, too — on the whole, then, the 
predominance of the herd over all shepherds and bellwethers — 
involves 

1. eclipse of the spirit (the fusion of a Stoic and a frivolous 
appearance of happiness, characteristic of noble cultures, decreases; 
one lets much suffering be seen and heard that one formerly bore 
and hid); 

2. moral hypocrisy (a way of wishing to distinguish oneself 
not by means of morality, but by means of the herd virtues: pity, 
consideration, moderation, which are not recognized and honored 
outside the herd ability) ; 

3. a really great amount of shared suffering (pity) and joy 
(the pleasure in large-scale associations found in all herd animals 
— “community spirit,” “Fatherland,” everything in which the 
individual does not count). 


61 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

Our time, with its aspiration to remedy and prevent accidental 
distresses and to wage preventive war against disagreeable pos- 
sibilities, is a time of the poor. Our “rich” — are poorest of all. 
The true purpose of all riches is forgotten. 


51 Cf. The Gay Science, section 370 (in Book V, which was added only 
to the 2nd ed., 1887), and section 1,009 below. 




42 


THE WILL TO POWER 


62 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Critique of modern man (his moralistic mendaciousness): 38 
— the “good man” corrupted and seduced by bad institutions 
(tyrants and priests); — reason as authority; — history as over- 
coming of errors; — the future as progress; — the Christian state 
(“the Lord of hosts”); — the Christian sex impulse (or marriage) ; 
— the kingdom of “justice” (the cult of “humanity”); — “free- 
dom.” 

The romantic pose of modern man: — the noble man (Byron, 
Victor Hugo, George Sand); • — noble indignation; — consecration 
through passion (as true “nature”); — siding with the oppressed 
and underprivileged: motto of the historians and novelists; — the 
Stoics of duty; — selflessness as art and knowledge; — altruism 
as the most mendacious form of egoism (utilitarianism), most 
sentimental egoism. 

All this is eighteenth century. What, on the other hand, has 
not been inherited from it: insouciance, cheerfulness, elegance, 
brightness of the spirit. The tempo of the spirit has changed; the 
enjoyment of refinement and clarity of the spirit has given place to 
the enjoyment of color, harmony, mass, reality, etc. Sensualism 
in matters of the spirit. In short, it is the eighteenth century of 
Rousseau . 


63 {Jan. -Fall 1888) 

On the whole, a tremendous quantum of humaneness has 
been attained in present-day mankind. That this is not felt gen- 
erally is itself a proof: we have become so sensitive concerning 
small states of distress that we unjustly ignore what has been 
attained. 

Here one must make allowance for the existence of much 
decadence, and seen with such eyes our world has to look wretched 
and miserable. But such eyes have at all times seen the same 
things: 

1. a certain overirritation even of the moral feelings; 

2. the quantum of embitterment and eclipse that pessimism 

"The parenthesis is printed in 1911, p. 499, but omitted in subsequent 
editions. 



book one: European Nihilism 


43 


carries into judgments: these two together account for the pre- 
dominance of the opposite notion, that our morality is in a bad 
way. 

The fact of credit, of worldwide trade, of the means of 
transportation — here a tremendous mild trust in man finds expres- 
sion. — Another contributing factor is 

3. the emancipation of science from moral and religious 
purposes: a very good sign that, however, is usually misunderstood. 

In my own way I attempt a justification of history. 


64 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The second Buddhism. The nihilistic catastrophe that finishes 
Indian culture. — Early signs of it: The immense increase of 
pity. Spiritual weariness. The reduction of problems to questions 
of pleasure and displeasure. The war glory that provokes a 
counterstroke. Just as national demarcation provokes a counter- 
movement, the most cordial “fraternity.” The impossibility for 
religion to go on working with dogmas and fables. 


65 {Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

What is attacked deep down today is the instinct and the 
will of tradition: all institutions that owe their origins to this 
instinct violate the taste of the modern spirit. — At bottom, nothing 
is thought and done without the purpose of eradicating this sense 
for tradition. One considers tradition a fatality; one studies it, 
recognizes it (as “heredity”), but one does not want it. The tens- 
ing of a will over long temporal distances, the selection of the 
states and valuations that allow one to dispose of future centuries 
— precisely this is antimodern in the highest degree. Which goes 
to show that it is the disorganizing principles that give our age 
its character. 


66 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

“Be simple!” — for us complicated and elusive triers of the 
reins a demand that is a simple stupidity. — Be natural! But how 
if one happens to be “unnatural”? 



44 


THE WILL TO POWER 


67 (1884) 

The former means for obtaining homogeneous, enduring char- 
acters for long generations: unalienable landed property, honoring 
the old (origin of the belief in gods and heroes as ancestors). 

Now the breaking up of landed property belongs to the 
opposite tendency: newspapers (in place of daily prayers), rail- 
way, telegraph. Centralization of a tremendous number of different 
interests in a single soul, which for that reason must be very 
strong and protean. 


68 (March-1 urn 1888 ) 

Why everything turns into histrionics . — Modem man lacks: 
the sure instinct (consequence of a long homogeneous form of 
activity of one kind of man); the inability to achieve anything 
perfect is merely a consequence of this: as an individual one 
can never make up for lost schooling. 

That which creates a morality, a code of laws: the profound 
instinct that only automatism makes possible perfection in life 
and creation. 

But now we have reached the opposite point; indeed, we 
wanted to reach it: the most extreme consciousness, man's ability 
to see through himself and history. With this we are practically 
as far as possible from perfection in being, doing, and willing: 
our desire, even our will for knowledge is a symptom of a tre- 
mendous decadence. We strive for the opposite of that which 
strong races, strong natures want — understanding is an ending. — 

That science is possible in this sense that is cultivated today 
is proof that all elementary instincts, life’s instincts of self-defense 
and protection, no longer function. We no longer collect, we 
squander the capital of our ancestors, even in the way in which 
we seek knowledge. — 


69 (1885-1886 ) 88 
Nihilistic Trait 

a. In the natural sciences (“meaninglessness”); causalism, 
mechanism. “Lawfulness” an entr'acte, a residue. 

“ According to 1911, p. 499, a through e were taken by the editor from 
one of Nietzsche’s plans for a book, and there they comprised items 5 




book one: European Nihilism 


45 


b. Ditto in politics: one lacks the faith in one’s right, inno- 
cence; mendaciousness rules and serving the moment. 

c. Ditto in economics: the abolition of slavery. The lack 
of a redeeming class, one that justifies — advent of anarchism. 
"Education”? 


through 9. The whole plan is printed in 1911, p. 416 ff, and it seems appro- 
priate to translate it here in full — mainly on account of its intrinsic interest, 
but also to show how the editor of the standard edition obtained some of 
his “aphorisms": 


The Will to Power 

Attempt at a Revaluation of all Values. 

(In four books) 

first book: The danger of dangers (presentation of nihilism as the neces- 
sary consequence of our valuations so far). Tremendous forces have been 
unleashed; but they conflict with each other; they annihilate each other. 
In a democratic commonwealth, where everybody is a specialist, the what- 
for? and for-whom? are lacking. The class [Stand] in which the thousand- 
fold atrophy of all individuals (into mere functions) acquires meaning. 
second book: Critique of values (logic, etc.). Everywhere the disharmony 
between the ideal and its individual conditions (e.g., honesty among 
Christians who are continually forced to lie). 
third book: The problem of the legislator (including the history of soli- 
tude). The forces that have been unleashed must be harnessed again lest 
they annihilate each other; eyes have to be opened for the actual increase 
of strength. 

fourth book; The hammer. What would men have to be like whose valua- 
tions are the opposite? Men who have all the traits of the modern soul 
but are strong enough to transform them into so much health — their 
means for their task. 

Sils Maria. Summer 1886. 


Plan of the first book 

What is dawning is the opposition of the world we revere and the world 
we live and are. So we can abolish either our reverence or ourselves. The 
latter constitutes nihilism. 

1. The advent of nihilism, theoretical and practical. Its faulty derivation 
(pessimism, its kinds: preludes of nihilism, although not necessary). 

2. Christianity perishing of its morality. “God is truth"; “God is love”; 
“the just God.” — The greatest event — "God is dead" — perceived dimly. 

3. Morality, now without any sanction, no longer knows how to maintain 
itself. Eventually one drops the moral interpretation (echoes of the Christian 
value judgments still fill men's feelings). 

4. But it was upon moral judgments that value was based so far; above all, 
the value of philosophy (“of the will to truth”). (The popular ideals — “the 
sage,” “the prophet,” “the saint” — have collapsed.) 

5. Nihilistic trait in the natural sciences. . . . 

[(5) through (9) appear above as (a) through (e).] 

10. The whole European system of human aspirations has the feeling it 
is partly meaningless, partly even now “immoral.” Probability of a new 




46 


THE WILL TO POWER 


d. Ditto in history: fatalism, Darwinism; the final attempts 
to read reason and divinity into it fail. Sentimentality in face of 
the past; one could not endure a biography! — (Here, too, phe- 
nomenalism: character as a mask; there are no facts.) 

e. Ditto in art: romanticism and its counterstroke (aver- 
sion against romantic ideals and lies). The latter, moral as a 
sense of greater truthfulness, but pessimistic. Pure “artists” (in- 
different toward content). (Father-confessor psychology and puri- 
tan psychology, two forms of psychological romanticism: but 
even its counterproposal, the attempt to adopt a purely artistic 

Buddhism. The greatest danger. — “How are truthfulness, love, and justice 
related to the actual world?” Not at all! — 

For the second book 

Origin and critique of moral valuations. These two things don’t coincide, 
as is often supposed (this belief itself is the result of a moral judgment to 
the effect that “something that has come to be in such and such a way is 
worth little because its origin is immoral”). Standard for determining the 
value of moral valuations: critique of the words, “Improvement, perfecting, 
enhancement.” 

The basic fact that has been overlooked: the contradiction between “be- 
coming more moral” and the enhancement and strengthening of the type 
of man. 

Homo natura. The “will to power.” 

For the third book 


The will to power. 

How those men would have to be constituted who would accomplish this 
revaluation in themselves. 

The order of rank as an order of power: war and danger as presupposi- 
tions that a rank maintains its conditions. The grandiose model: man in 
nature — the weakest, cleverest being making itself master and subjugating 
the more stupid elements. 


For the fourth book 

The greatest struggle: for that a new weapon is needed. The hammer: to 
conjure up a terrible decision, to confront Europe with the final choice 
whether its will “wills” its own destruction [Untergang], Prevention of the 
decline into mediocrity [Verinittelmassigung], Rather even destruction [Lieber 
noch Untergang\\ 

In the preface to Twilight of the Idols, written in 1888 and published in 
January 1889, the image of the hammer is sublimated: “For once to pose 
questions here with a hammer, and, perhaps, to hear as a reply that famous 
hollow sound which speaks of bloated entrails — what a delight for one who 
has ears even behind his ears, for me, an old psychologist . . .” 

For the dictum, “God is dead," see The Gay Science, section 125 ( Portable 
Nietzsche, pp. 95 /) and Zarathustra, Prologue (ibid., p. 124); also Kauf- 
mann’s Nietzsche, Chapter 3. 




book one: European Nihilism 47 

attitude toward man — even there the opposite valuation is not 
yet ventured!) 


70 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Against the doctrine of the influence of the milieu and 
external causes: the force within is infinitely superior; much that 
looks like external influence is merely its adaptation from within. 
The very same milieus can be interpreted and exploited in oppo- 
site ways: there are no facts. — A genius is not explained in terms 
of such conditions of his origin. 40 

71 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

“Modernity” in the perspective of the metaphor of nourish- 
ment and digestion. — 

Sensibility immensely more irritable ( — dressed up moralisti- 
cally: the increase in pity — ); the abundance of disparate impres- 
sions greater than ever: cosmopolitanism in foods, literatures, 
newspapers, forms, tastes, even landscapes. The tempo of this 
influx prestissimo; the impressions erase each other; one instinc- 
tively resists taking in anything, taking anything deeply, to 
“digest” anything; a weakening of the power to digest results 
from this. A kind of adaptation to this flood of impressions takes 
place: men unlearn spontaneous action, they merely react to 
stimuli from outside. They spend their strength partly in assimilat- 
ing things, partly in defense, partly in opposition. Profound weak- 
ening of spontaneity: the historian, critic, analyst, the interpreter, 
the observer, the collector, the reader — all of them reactive talents 
— all science! 

Artificial change of one’s nature into a “mirror”; interested 
but, as it were, merely epidemically interested; a coolness on 
principle, a balance, a fixed low temperature closely underneath 
the thin surface on which warmth, movement, “tempest,” and the 
play of waves are encountered. 

Opposition of external mobility and a certain deep heaviness 
and weariness. 


"Cf. section 109. 




48 


THE WILL TO POWER 


72 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Where does our modern world belong — to exhaustion or 
ascent? — Its manifoldness and unrest conditioned by the attain- 
ment of the highest level of consciousness. 

73 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overwork, curiosity and sympathy — our modern vices. 


74 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Toward a characterization of "modernity .” — Overabundant 
development of intermediary forms; atrophy of types; traditions 
break off, schools; the overlordship of the instincts (prepared 
philosophically: the unconscious worth more) after the will power, 
the willing of end and means, has been weakened. 


75 (1885) 

An able craftsman or scholar cuts a fine figure when he takes 
pride in his art and looks on life content and satisfied. But nothing 
looks more wretched than when a shoemaker or schoolmaster gives 
us to understand with a suffering mien that he was really bom 
for something better. There is nothing better than what is good — 
and good is having some ability and using that to create, Tiichtig- 
keit or virtu in the Italian Renaissance sense. 

Today, in our time when the state has an absurdly fat stomach, 
there are in all fields and departments, in addition to the real 
workers, also “representatives”; e.g., besides the scholars also 
scribblers, besides the suffering classes also garrulous, boastful 
ne’er-do-wells who “represent” this suffering, not to speak of the 
professional politicians who are well off while “representing” 
distress with powerful lungs before a parliament. Our modern 
life is extremely expensive owing to the large number of inter- 
mediaries; in an ancient city, on the other hand, and, echoing 
that, also in many cities in Spain and Italy, one appeared oneself 
and would have given a hoot to such modem representatives and 
intermediaries — or a kick! 



book one: European Nihilism 


49 


76 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The predominance of dealers and intermediaries in spiritual 
matters, too: the scribbler, the “representative,” the historian (who 
fuses past and present), the exotician and cosmopolitan, the 
intermediaries between science and philosophy, the semitheologians. 

77 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Nothing to date has nauseated me more than the parasites 
of the spirit: in our unhealthy Europe one already finds them 
everywhere — and they have the best conscience in the world. Per- 
haps a little dim, a little air pessimiste, but in the main voracious, 
dirty, dirtying, creeping in, nestling, thievish, scurvy — and as inno- 
cent as all little sinners and microbes. They live off the fact that 
other people have spirit and squander it: they know that it is 
of the very essence of the rich spirit to squander itself care- 
lessly, without petty caution, from day to day. — For the spirit 
is a bad householder and pays no heed to how everybody lives 
and feeds on it. 


78 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Histrionics 

The colorfulness of modern man and its charm. Essentially 
concealment and satiety. 

The scribbler. 

The politician (in “the nationalist swindle”) . 

Histrionics in the arts: 

lack of probity in prior training and schooling (Fromentin); 41 
the romantics (lack of philosophy and science and superabundance 
of literature); 

the novelists (Walter Scott, but also the Nibelungen monsters along 
with the most nervous music) ; 
the lyric poets. 

Being “scientific.” 

Virtuosos (Jews). 

Popular ideals overcome, but not yet in the eyes of the 
people: the saint, the sage, the prophet. 

"Eugene Frotnentin (1820-1876), French painter. 




50 


THE WILL TO POWER 


79 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The modem spirit’s lack of discipline, dressed up in all sorts 
of moral fashions. — The showy words are: tolerance (for “the 
incapacity for Yes and No”) ; la largeur de sympathies ( = one- 
third indifference, one-third curiosity, one-third pathological irri- 
tability); “objectivity” (lack of personality, lack of will, inca- 
pacity for “love”); “freedom” versus rules (romanticism); “truth” 
versus forgery and lies (naturalism); being “scientific” (the “docu- 
ment humain in other words, the novel of colportage and 
addition in place of composition); “passion” meaning disorder 
and immoderation; “depth” meaning confusion, the profuse chaos 
of symbols. 


80 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

Toward a critique of the big words . — I am full of suspicion 
and malice against what they call “ideals”: this is my pessimism, 
to have recognized how the “higher feelings” are a source of mis- 
fortune and man’s loss of value. 

One is deceived every time one expects “progress” from an 
ideal; every time so far the victory of the ideal has meant a 
retrograde movement. 

Christianity, the revolution, the abolition of slavery, equal 
rights, philanthropy, love of peace, justice, truth: all these big 
words have value only in a fight, as flags: not as realities but as 
showy words for something quite different (indeed, opposite!). 48 

81 (1883-1888) 

One knows the kind of human being who has fallen in love 
with the motto, tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner . 44 It is the 
weak, it is above all the disappointed: if there is something to be 
forgiven in all, perhaps there is also something to be despised 
in all. It is the philosophy of disappointment that wraps itself 
so humanely in pity and looks sweet. 

These are romantics whose faith flew the coop: now they 

“The breadth of sympathy. 

15 Cf. Twilight, section 38 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 541). 

“ To understand all is to forgive all. 


book one: European Nihilism 


SI 


at least want to watch how everything passes and goes. They call 
it I’art pour Vart, “objectivity,” etc. 

82 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Chief symptoms of pessimism: the diners chez Magny; 43 Rus- 
sian pessimism (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky); aesthetic pessimism, I’art 
pour I’art, “description” (romantic and antiromantic pessimism) ; 
epistemological pessimism (Schopenhauer, phenomenalism); an- 
archistic pessimism; the “religion of pity,” Buddhistic premove- 
ment; cultural pessimism (exoticism, cosmopolitanism) ; moralistic 
pessimism : I myself. 


83 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

"Without the Christian faith,” Pascal thought, “you, no less 
than nature and history, will become for yourselves un monstre et 

45 Cf. Nietzsche’s Letters to Gast ( Gesammelte Brief e, vol. IV), Novem- 
ber 10, 1887: 'The second volume of the Journal des Concourts has ap- 
peared: the most interesting new publication. It covers the years 1862-1865; 
here the famous diners chez Magny are described most vividly, those diners 
at which the cleverest [geistreichste] and most skeptical band of Parisian 
spirits of that time assembled twice a month (Sainte-Beuve, Flaubert, Theo- 
phile Gautier, Taine, Renan, the Goncourts, Scherer, Gavani, occasionally 
Turgenev, etc.). Exasperated pessimism, cynicism, and nihilism alternating 
with much exuberance [Ausgelassenheit] and good humor; I myself shouldn’t 
fit in badly at all. I know these gentlemen by heart, so well that I am really 
weary of them [sie salt habe]. One must be more radical: at bottom they all 
lack the same thing — 'la force.’ " See also section 915 below. 

Of the men enumerated in the parenthesis, all but the last three are 
mentioned in The Will to Power (see the Index), and of these all but 
Gautier are also mentioned in the books Nietzsche himself published. In 
Twilight, “Skirmishes,” whole sections are devoted to Renan (#2) and 
Sainte Beuve (#3), the brothers Goncourt are characterized in sections 
1 and 7; and Flaubert is mentioned often, also in Nietzsche’s other books. 
Practically all of these references are hostile. (For Renan see also my 
note on Genealogy III, section 26.) Hippolyte Taine, on the other hand, 
is mentioned favorably in Beyond Good and Evil and in the Genealogy, 
and Nietzsche corresponded with him. 

Edmond Henri Adolphe Scherer (1815-89), ordained and appointed 
to a professorship in the Ecole Evangelique at Geneva in 1843, resigned 
six years later and gradually abandoned Protestant doctrine. He became 
a Hegelian, settled in Paris, and made his reputation as a literary critic. 

Gavami was the pen name of Sulpice Guillaume Chevalier (1801-66), 
an outstanding Parisian caricaturist. He is said to have initiated the diners 
chez Magny, mentioned in the text. 

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-83), the great Russian novelist, is 
never mentioned in Nietzsche's books. 




52 


THE WILL TO POWER 


un chaos." This prophecy we have fulfilled, after the feeble-opti- 
mistic eighteenth century had prettified and rationalized man. 

Schopenhauer and Pascal. — In an important sense, Schopen- 
hauer is the first to take up again the movement of Pascal: un 
monstre et un chaos , consequently something to be negated. — 
History, nature, man himself. 

" Our inability to know the truth is the consequence of our 
corruption, our moral decay”; thus Pascal. And thus, at bottom, 
Schopenhauer. “The deeper the corruption of reason, the more 
necessary the doctrine of salvation” — or, in Schopenhauer’s terms, 
negation. 


84 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Schopenhauer as throwback (state before the revolution): 
Pity, sensuality, art, weakness of the will, Catholicism of spiritual 
cravings — that is good eighteenth century au fond.* 9 

Schopenhauer's basic misunderstanding of the will (as if 
craving, instinct, drive were the essence of will) is typical: lower- 
ing the value of the will to the point of making a real mistake. 
Also hatred against willing; attempt to see something higher, indeed 
that which is higher and valuable, in willing no more, in “being a 
subject without aim and purpose” (in the “pure subject free of 
will”). Great symptom of the exhaustion or the weakness of the 
will : for the will is precisely that which treats cravings as their 
master and appoints to them their way and measure. 47 

85 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

The unworthy attempt has been made to see Wagner and 
Schopenhauer as types of mental illness: one would gain an in- 
comparably more essential insight by making more precise scien- 
tifically the type of decadence both represent. 

86 (1888) 

Your 48 Henrik Ibsen has become very clear to me. For all 

H At bottom. 

* But see section 46. 

w The beginning of this note was prompted by Georg Brandes’ letters 
to Nietzsche, January 11 and March 7, 1888, as is pointed out correctly in 



book one: European Nihilism 


53 


his robust idealism and “will to truth” he did not dare to liberate 
himself from the illusionism of morality that speaks of "freedom” 
without wishing to admit to itself what freedom is: the second stage 
in the metamorphosis of the “will to power” — for those who lack 
freedom. On the first stage one demands justice from those who 
are in power. On the second, one speaks of “freedom” — that is, 
one wants to get away from those in power. On the third, one 
speaks of "equal rights" — that is, as long as one has not yet gained 

1911, p. 499. The dating in the Musarion edition reads: “Spring-Fall 1887; 
revised 1888.” The attempt of the editors of the standard edition to turn 
this kind of a hasty note into an “aphorism” by omitting “Your” in the 
text (the word is duly mentioned in the note on p. 499) Is as unfortunate 
as it is in keeping with their procedure throughout much of the book. All 
subsequent editions, including Schlechta's, also omit “Your.” 

On January 11, 1888, Brandes had written Nietzsche that he was send- 
ing him the proofs of a collection of his essays: “. . . The essay on Ibsen is 
relatively the best. . . . There is a Nordic writer whose works would interest 
you. Stf>ren Kierkegaard; he lived 1813-1855 and is in my view one of the 
most profound psychologists of all time. . . .” 

Nietzsche replied February 19: "... I have decided that during my 
next trip to Germany I want to study the psychological problem of Kierke- 
gaard. . . Ibsen he did not mention — and he never got around to reading 
Kierkegaard. 

On March 7, Brandes wrote Nietzsche: “Ibsen must interest you as a 
personality. Unfortunately he does not have the same stature as a human 
being that he has as a poet. As a mind he has been very dependent on 
Kierkegaard and is still rather full of theology. Bjornson actually became a 
common lay preacher during his last phase. . . .” 

And November 23, 1888, Brandes wrote Nietzsche: “Believe me, I make 
propaganda for you wherever 1 can. Only last week I seriously urged Henrik 
Ibsen to study your works. There is a way in which you are related to him, 
too, although very distantly. This oddball is great and strong and unfriendly 
but nevertheless deserving of love. Strindberg will be pleased that you esteem 
him. . . .” 

Nietzsche refers to Ibsen in two other places: in section 747 in The 
Will to Power and in Ecce Homo, Chapter III, section 5, where he says: “A 
whole species of malignant ‘idealisin’ — which, incidentally, is encountered 
among men, too; for example in Henrik Ibsen, this typical old maid — has 
the aim of poisoning the good conscience, that which is natural in sexual 
love." 

What Nietzsche had actually read of Ibsen’s works is uncertain. His 
friend Franz Overbeck wrote him on October 14, 1888: “In Munich I have 
also had a few strange impressions in the theater, and have scarcely ever 
seen a more skillful German play than The Pillars of Society by Ibsen, by 
whom I had not known anything before this. . . .” 

Michael Meyer, the Ibsen scholar and translator, informs me that the 
only record he has found of any comment on Nietzsche by Ibsen is in an 
interview printed in the newspaper f)rebladet, November 26, 1900, when 
Ibsen was 72: “A great thinker has died since we last spoke, Herr Ibsen — 
Nietzsche. ‘Yes. I wasn’t well acquainted with his work. It wasn’t until a 
few years ago that he really became well known. He had a remarkable 



54 


THE WILL TO POWER 


superiority one wants to prevent one’s competitors from growing 
in power. 


87 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Decline of Protestantism: understood as a halfway house both 
theoretically and historically. Actual superiority of Catholicism; 
the feeling of Protestantism extinguished to such an extent that the 
strongest anti-Protestant movements are no longer experienced as 
such (for example, Wagner’s Parsifal). All of the higher regions 
of the spirit in France are Catholic in their instincts; Bismarck 
realizes that Protestantism simply doesn’t exist any more. 

88 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Protestantism, that spiritually unclean and boring form of 
decadence in which Christianity has been able so far to preserve 
itself in the mediocre north: valuable for knowledge as something 
complex and a halfway house, in so far as it brought together in 
the same heads experiences of different orders and origins. 

89 (March- June 1888) 

How did the German spirit transform Christianity! — And to 
stick to Protestantism: how much beer there is in Protestant Chris- 
tianity! Can one even imagine a spiritually staler, lazier, more 
comfortably relaxed form of the Christian faith than that of the 
average Protestant in Germany? 49 

talent, but his philosophy prevented him from becoming popular in our 
democratic age.’ Some say that Nietzsche was a spirit who emerged from 
the dark — a Satan — ‘Satan — no. No, Nietzsche wasn’t that.’ ” Which isn’t 
much. And according to Meyer, Ibsen often said he had “read little of 
Kierkegaard and understood less.” 

Nevertheless it is widely taken for granted — and perhaps rightly — that 
Ibsen’s Biand was profoundly influenced by Kierkegaard and Ibsen’s An 
Enemy of the People brings to mind Kierkegaard’s paean on “That Indi- 
vidual,” with its refrain “The crowd is untruth" (found, e.g., in my Existen- 
tialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, 1956, pp. 92-99). And Beyond Good and 
Evil (1886) contains some very striking parallels to An Enemy of the People 
(written in 1882), which evidently are not due to any influence of the play 
on Nietzsche’s book: see my note on section 213 of Beyond Good and Evil, 
as well as section 4 of my “Translator’s Preface.” 

“ "1st eine geistig verdumpftere, faulere, gliederstrcekendcre Form des 
Christen-Glaubens noch denkhar, als die eines deutschen Durchschnitts- 
Protestanten?" Paul can mean “rotten” as well as “lazy”: gliederstreckend 
means literally “limb-stretching.” 




book one: European Nihilism 


55 


That’s what I call a modest version of Christianity! A homoe- 
opathy of Christianity is what I call it. 

One reminds me that today we also encounter an immodest 
Protestantism — that of the court chaplains 50 and anti-Semitic spec- 
ulators: but nobody has claimed yet that any “spirit” whatever 
“moved” on the faces of these waters. — That is merely a more 
indecent form of Christianity, by no means more sensible. 

90 (lan.-Fall 1888) 

Progress . — Let us not be deceived! Time marches forward; 
we’d like to believe that everything that is in it also marches for- 
ward — that the development is one that moves forward. 

The most level-headed are led astray by this illusion. But 
the nineteenth century does not represent progress over the six- 
teenth; and the German spirit of 1888 represents a regress from 
the German spirit of 1788. 

“Mankind” does not advance, it does not even exist. The over- 
all aspect is that of a tremendous experimental laboratory in which 
a few successes are scored, scattered throughout all ages, while 
there are untold failures, and all order, logic, union, and obliging- 
ness are lacking. How can we fail to recognize that the ascent of 
Christianity is a movement of decadence? — That the German Ref- 
ormation is a recrudescence of Christian barbarism? — That the 
Revolution 51 destroyed the instinct for a grand organization of 
society? 

Man represents no progress over the animal: the civilized 
tenderfoot is an abortion compared to the Arab and Corsican; the 
Chinese is a more successful type, namely more durable, than the 
European. 


91 (1885) 

On German Pessimism 62 

The eclipse, the pessimistic coloring, comes necessarily in the 

"An illusion to the anti-Semitic Hofprediger Adolf StQcker (1835- 
1909), who was then court chaplain in Berlin and the founder of the 
Christian Socialist Workers* Party. As a member of the Prussian diet, he 
sat and voted with the Conservatives. 

81 French Revolution. 

"This title was omitted in the standard editions but is mentioned in 
1911, p. 499. 


56 


THE WILL TO POWER 


wake of the Enlightenment. Around 1770 the decline of cheerful- 
ness began to be noticed; women, with that feminine instinct which 
always sides with virtue, supposed that immorality was the cause. 
Galiani hit the nail on the head: he cites Voltaire’s verse: 

Vn monstre gai vaut mieux 

Qu’un sentimental ennuyeux . BS 

When I believe now that I am a few centuries ahead in Enlighten- 
ment not only of Voltaire but even of Galiani, who was far pro- 
founder — how far must I have got in the increase of dark- 
ness! 54 And this is really the case, and I bewared in time, with 
some sort of regret, of the German and Christian narrowness and 
inconsequence of pessimism k la Schopenhauer or, worse, Leopardi, 
and sought out the most quintessential forms (Asia). 55 But in order 
to endure this type of extreme pessimism (it can be perceived here 
and there in my Birth of Tragedy ) and to live alone “without God 
and morality” I had to invent a counterpart for myself. Perhaps I 
know best why man alone laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that 
he had to invent laughter. The unhappiest and most melancholy 
animal is, as fitting, the most cheerful. 


92 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Regarding German culture, I have always had the feeling of 
decline. This fact, that I first became acquainted with a type in 
decline, has often made me unfair to the whole phenomenon of 
European culture. The Germans always come after the others, 
much later: they are carrying something in the depths; e.g., — 

Dependence on other countries; e.g., Kant — Rousseau, Sen- 
sualists, Hume, Swedenborg. 

Schopenhauer — Indians and romanticism, Voltaire. 


“ A gay monster is worth more 

Than a sentimental bore. 

Nietzsche omitted the text of this verse, which was inserted in the book 
by Peter Gast*, cf. section 35 above. 

51 In der Verdiisterung. 

“According to 1911, p. 499, the MS continued at this point: “Among 
those thinkers who developed pessimism further I do not include Eduard 
von Hartmann whom I’d far sooner lump with ‘agreeable literature’. . . .” 
This was presumably omitted in the 1906 edition because Hartmann, born 
in 1842 (two years before Nietzsche), did not die until 1906; but although 
the passage was printed in the notes at the end of the 1911 volume, it was 
omitted in all subsequent editions. 



book ONE: European Nihilism 


57 


Wagner — French cult of the gruesome and of grand opera, 
Paris and the flight into primeval states (marriage with the sister). 

— The law of the latecomers (province to Paris, Germany to 
France). Why the Germans of all people discovered the Greek 
spirit (the more one develops a drive, the more attractive does it 
become to plunge for once into its opposite). 

Music is swan song. 80 

93 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Renaissance and Reformation . — What does the Renaissance 
prove? That the reign of the individual has to be brief. The 
squandering is too great; the very possibility of collecting and 
capitalizing is lacking; and exhaustion follows immediately. These 
are times when everything is spent, when the very strength is spent 
with which one collects, capitalizes, and piles riches upon riches. — 
Even the oppohents of such movements are forced into an absurd 
waste of energy; they, too, soon become exhausted, spent, desolate. 

In the Reformation we possess a wild and vulgar counterpart 
to the Italian Renaissance, born of related impulses; only in the 
retarded north, which had remained coarse, they had to don a 
religious disguise; for there the concept of the higher life had not 
yet detached itself from that of the religious life. 

Through the Reformation, too, the individual sought freedom; 
“everybody his own priest” is also a mere formula of libertinage. 
In truth, one word was enough — “evangelical freedom” — and all 
instincts that had reason to remain hidden broke out like wild dogs, 
the most brutal requirements suddenly acquired the courage to face 
themselves, and everything seemed justified. — One was careful not 
to understand what liberty one had really meant at bottom; one 
shut one’s eyes before oneself, — But shutting one’s eyes and 
moistening one’s lips with enthusiastic orations did not prevent 
one’s hands from grasping whatever could be grabbed, and the 
belly became the god of the “free evangel,” and all the cravings of 
revenge and envy satisfied themselves with insatiable rage. — 

This took a while; then exhaustion set in, just as it had in the 
south of Europe — and here, too, a vulgar kind of exhaustion, a 
general mere in servitium . BT — The indecent century of Germany 
arrived. — 

M "Musik ist Ausklingen." 

" “Plunging into servitude.” 




58 


THE WILL TO POWER 


94 {1884) 

Chivalry as the conquered position of power: its gradual 
breaking up (and in part transition into what is more spread out, 
bourgeois). In La Rochefoucauld we find a consciousness of the 
true motive springs of noblesse of the mind — and a view of these 
motive springs that is darkened by Christianity. 

The French Revolution as the continuation of Christianity. 
Rousseau is the seducer: he again unfetters woman who is hence- 
forth represented in an ever more interesting manner — as suffering. 
Then the slaves and Mrs. Beecher-Stowe. Then the poor and the 
workers. Then the vice addicts and the sick — all this is .moved into 
the foreground (even to develop sympathy for the genius one no 
longer knows any other way for the past five hundred years than 
to represent him as the bearer of great suffering!). Next come the 
curse on voluptuousness (Baudelaire and Schopenhauer) ; the most 
decided conviction that the lust to rule is the greatest vice; 53 the 
perfect certainty that morality and disinterestedness are identical 
concepts and that the “happiness of all” is a goal worth striving 
for (i.e., the kingdom of heaven of Christ). We are well along on 
the way: the kingdom of heaven of the poor in spirit has begun. — 
Intermediary stages: the bourgeois (a parvenu on account of 
money) and the worker (on account of the machine). 

Comparison of Greek culture and that of the French in the 
age of Louis XIV. Decided faith in oneself. A leisure class whose 
members make things difficult for themselves and exercise much 
self-overcoming. The power of form, the will to give form to one- 
self. “Happiness” admitted as a goat. Much strength and energy 
behind the emphasis on forms. The delight in looking at a life that 
seems so easy.- — To the French, the Greeks looked like children. 

95 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The Three Centuries 

Their different sensibilities are best expressed thus: 

Aristocratism: Descartes, rule of reason, testimony of the 
sovereignty of the will; 


" Cf. the chapter “On the Three Great Evils” in Zarathustra III {Porta- 
ble Nietzsche, p. 298 ) . 




book one: European Nihilism 


59 


Feminism: Rousseau, rule of feeling, testimony of the sover- 
eignty of the senses, mendacious; 

Animalism: Schopenhauer, rule of craving, testimony of the 
sovereignty of animality, more honest but gloomy. 

The seventeenth century is aristocratic, imposes order, looks 
down haughtily upon the animalic, is severe against the heart, not 
cozy, without sentiment, “un-German,” averse to what is burlesque 
and what is natural, inclined to generalizations and sovereign con- 
fronted with the past — for it believes in itself. Much beast of prey 
au fond, much ascetic habit to remain master. The century of strong 
will; also of strong passion. 

The eighteenth century is dominated by woman, given to en- 
thusiasm, full of esprit, shallow, but with a spirit in the service of 
what is desirable, of the heart, libertine in the enjoyment of what 
is most spiritual, and undermines all authorities; intoxicated, cheer- 
ful, clear, humane, false before itself, much canaille au fond, socia- 
ble. — 

The nineteenth century is more animalic and subterranean, 
uglier, more realistic and vulgar, and precisely for that reason 
“better,” “more honest,” more submissive before every kind of 
“reality,” truer; but weak in will, but sad and full of dark crav- 
ings, but fatalistic. Not full of awe and reverence for either "reason” 
or “heart”; deeply convinced of the rule of cravings (Schopenhauer 
spoke of “will”; but nothing is more characteristic of his philosophy 
than the absence of all genuine willing) . Even morality reduced to 
one instinct (“pity”). 

Auguste Comte is a continuation of the eighteenth century 
(domination of coeur over la tete, sensualism in the theory of 
knowledge, altruistic enthusiasm) . 

That science has become sovereign to such a degree proves 
how the nineteenth century has rid itself of the domination of 
ideals. A certain frugality of desire makes possible our scientific 
curiosity and severity — which is our kind of virtue. — 

Romanticism is an echo of the eighteenth century; a kind of 
piled-high desire for its enthusiasm in the grand style (as a matter 
of fact, a good deal of histrionics and self-deception: one wanted 
to represent strong natures and grand passions). 

The nineteenth century looks instinctively for theories that 
seem to justify its fatalistic submission to matters of fact. Already 
Hegel’s success against “sentimentality” and romantic idealism was 
due to his fatalistic way of thinking, to his faith in the greater reason 



60 


THE WILL TO POWER 


on the side of the victorious, to his justification of the actual “state” 
(in place of “mankind,” etc.). — 

Schopenhauer: we are something stupid and, at best, even 
something that cancels itself . 30 Success of determinism, of the 
genealogical derivation of obligations that had formerly been con- 
sidered absolute, the doctrine of milieu and adaptation, the reduc- 
tion of will to reflexes, the denial of the will as an “efficient cause”; 
finally — a real rechristening: one sees so little will that the word 
becomes free to designate something else. Further theories: the 
doctrine of objectivity — “will-less” contemplation — as the only 
road to truth; also to beauty ( — also the faith in the “genius” to 
justify a right to submission); mechanism, the calculable rigidity 
of the mechanical process; the alleged “naturalism,” elimination of 
the choosing, judging, interpreting subject as a principle — 

Kant, with his “practical reason” and his moral fanaticism is 
wholly eighteenth century; still entirely outside the historical move- 
ment; without any eye for the actuality of his time, e.g., Revolution; 
untouched by Greek philosophy; fanciful visionary of the concept 
of duty; sensualist with the backdrop of the pampering of dog- 
matism. — 

The movement back to Kant in our century is a movement 
back to the eighteenth century: one wants to regain a right to the 
old ideals and the old enthusiasm — for that reason an epistemology 
that “sets boundaries,” which means that it permits one to posit 
as one may see fit a beyond of reason. — 

Hegel’s way of thinking is not far different from Goethe’s : 
one needs only to listen to Goethe about Spinoza . Will to deify the 
universe and life in order to find repose and happiness in contem- 
plation and in getting to the bottom of things; Hegel seeks reason 
everywhere — before reason one may submit and acquiesce. In 
Goethe a kind of almost joyous and trusting fatalism that does not 
revolt, that does not flag, that seeks to form a totality out of him- 
self, in the faith that only in the totality everything redeems itself 
and appears good and justified . 60 


Etwas Sich-selbst-A ufhebendes. Aufheben, one of Hegel’s favorite 
terms, is an ordinary German word that can mean cancel, preserve, and 
lift up. For a detailed discussion of this term see Walter Kaufmann, Hegel, 
Doubleday, Garden City, 1965, sections 37 and 42. 

“Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 49 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 553). 
Indeed, long after adding this note I found in 1911, p. 500, that “in the 
manuscript this aph[orism — sic!] is followed by a preliminary version” of 
that section. The above is surely a mere note; section 49 is an “aphorism.” 



book one: European Nihilism 


61 


96 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Period o! the Enlightenment — followed by the period of senti- 
mentality. To what extent Schopenhauer belongs to “sentimentality” 
(Hegel to spirituality). 91 

97 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The seventeenth century suffers of man as of a sum of contra- 
dictions (“ I’amas de contradictions " that we are) ; it seeks to dis- 
cover, order, excavate man — while the eighteenth century seeks to 
forget what is known of man’s nature in order to assimilate him 
to its utopia. “Superficial, tender, humane” — enthusiastic about 
“man” — 

The seventeenth century seeks to erase the tracks of the indi- 
vidual to make the work look as similar to life as possible. The 
eighteenth uses the work in an attempt to arouse interest in the 
author. The seventeenth century seeks in art — art, a piece of cul- 
ture; the eighteenth uses art to make propaganda for reforms of a 
social and political nature. 

“Utopia,” the “ideal man,” the deification Of nature, the vanity 
of posing, the subordination to propaganda for social goals, charla- 
tanism — these are our gifts from the eighteenth century. 

The style of the seventeenth century: propre, exact et libre. 

The strong individual, self-sufficient or zealously occupied 
before God — and this modem obtrusiveness of authors who all 
but leap out at you — these furnish some contrast. “To perform” 
—compare that with the scholars of Port-Royal. 

Alfieri 92 had a sense for grand style. 

Hatred of the burlesque (undignified), lack of a sense for 
nature belong to the seventeenth century. 

98 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Against Rousseau . — Unfortunately , man is no longer evil 
enough; Rousseau’s opponents who say “man is a beast of prey” 
are unfortunately wrong. Not the corruption of man but the ex- 
tent to which he has become tender and moralized is his curse. 68 

“ The two German terms here are Empfindsamkeit and Geistigkeit. 

“Count Vittorio Alfieri (1749-1803), Italian dramatist. 

“Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 37 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 538). 



62 


THE WILL TO POWER 


Precisely in the sphere that Rousseau fought most violently one 
could find the relatively still strong and well-turned-out type of 
man (those in whom the grand affects were still unbroken: will 
to power, will to enjoyment, will and capacity to command). The 
man of the eighteenth century has to be compared with the man 
of the Renaissance (also with the man of the seventeenth century 
in France), so that one feels what is at stake: Rousseau is a symp- 
tom of self self-contempt and heated vanity — both signs that the 
domineering will is lacking: he moralizes and, as a man of rancor, 
seeks the cause of his wretchedness in the ruling classes. 

99 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Against Rousseau . 64 — The state of nature is terrible, man is 
a beast of prey; our civilization represents a tremendous triumph 
over this beast-of-prey nature: thus argued Voltaire. He felt the 
mitigation, the subtleties, the spiritual joys of the civilized state; 
he despised narrowmindedness, also in the form of virtue, and 
the lack of delicatesse, also among ascetics and monks. 

The moral reprehensibility of man seemed to preoccupy 
Rousseau; with the words “unjust” and “cruel” one can best stir 
up the instincts of the oppressed who otherwise smart under the 
ban of the vetitum and disfavor, so their conscience advises them 
against rebellious cravings. Such emancipators seek one thing 
above all: to giye their party the grand accents and poses of the 
higher nature. 


100 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Rousseau: the rule based on feeling; nature as the source of 
justice; man perfects himself to the extent to which he approaches 
nature (according to Voltaire, to the extent to which he moves 
away from nature). The very same epochs are for one ages of the 
progress of humanity; for the other, times when injustice and 
inequality grow worse. 

Voltaire still comprehended umanita in the Renaissance sense; 
also virtu (as “high culture”); he fights for the cause of the 
“honnites gens” and "de la bonne compagnie,” 66 the cause of 

“This heading was changed by the editors to read "Voltaire — Rous- 
seau." 

" These terms might be translated as humanity, virtue, honorable people, 




BOOK one: European Nihilism 


63 


taste, of science, of the arts, of progress itself and civilization. 

The fight began around 1760: the citizen of Geneva and le 
seigneur de Ferney Only from that moment on Voltaire becomes 
the man of his century, the philosopher, the representative of 
tolerance and unbelief (till then merely un bel esprit). 01 Envy 
and hatred of Rousseau’s success impelled him forward, “to the 
heights.” 

Pour “la canaille ” un dieu remunerateur et vengeur 68 — 
Voltaire. 

Critique of both points of view in regard to the value of 
civilization. The social invention is for Voltaire the most beauti- 
ful there is: there is no higher goal than to maintain and perfect 
it; precisely this is honniteti ,°° to respect social conventions; 
virtue as obedience to certain necessary “prejudices” in favor of 
the preservation of “society.” Missionary of culture, aristocrat, 
representative of the victorious, ruling classes and their valuations. 
But Rousseau remained a plebeian, also as Homme de lettres; 10 
that was unheard of; his impudent contempt of all that was not 
he himself. 

What was sick in Rousseau was admired and imitated most 
(Lord Byron related to him; also worked himself up into sublime 
poses and into vindictive rancor; sign of “meanness”; later attained 
balance through Venice and comprehended what produces more 
ease and well-being — l’ insouciance.) 71 

Rousseau is proud in regard to what he is, in spite of his 
origins; but he is beside himself when one reminds him of it. — 

Rousseau, beyond a doubt, mentally disturbed; in Voltaire 
an uncommon health and light touch. The rancor of the sick; the 
periods of his insanity also those of his contempt of man and his 
mistrust. 

The defense of providence by Rousseau (against the pessimism 
of Voltaire) : he needed God in order to be able to cast a curse 
upon society and civilization; everything had to be good in itself 

and good society, but each of them has a distinctive flavor in the original 
language, which accounts for Nietzsche’s use of foreign words. 

" The squire of Ferney. In the MS erroneously: Tourney. 

*' A wit. 

w For the rabble, a rewarding and avenging god. 

w Decency. 

10 Man of letters. 

” Nonchalance. 



64 


THE WILL TO POWER 


because God had created it; only man has corrupted men. The 
“good man” as the natural man was pure fantasy; but with the 
dogma of God’s authorship it seemed probable and well-founded. 

Romanticism a la Rousseau: passion (“the sovereign right 
of passion”); “naturalness”; the fascination of madness (folly 
included in greatness); the absurd vanity of the weak man; the 
rancor of the mob as judge (“for a hundred years now, a sick man 
has been accepted as a leader in politics”). 72 

101 {Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Kant: makes the epistemological skepticism of the English 
possible for Germans: 

1. by enlisting for it the sympathy of the moral and religious 
needs of the Germans; just as the later philosophers of the Academy 
used skepticism for the same reason, as a preparation for Platonism 
{vide Augustin) ; and as Pascal used even moralistic skepticism in 
order to excite the need for faith (“to justify it”); 

2. by scholastically involuting and curlicueing it and thus 
making it acceptable for the German taste regarding scientific form 
(for Locke and Hume in themselves were too bright, too clear, i.e., 
judged according to German value instincts, “too superficial” — ) 

Kant: inferior in his psychology and knowledge of human 
nature; way off when it comes to great historical values (French 
Revolution); a moral fanatic a la Rousseau; a subterranean Chris- 
tianity in his values; a dogmatist through and through, but ponder- 
ously sick of this inclination, to such an extent that he wished to 
tyrannize it, but also weary right away of skepticism; not yet 
touched by the slightest breath of cosmopolitan taste and the beauty 
of antiquity — a delayer and mediator, nothing original (just as 
Leibniz mediated and built a bridge between mechanism and 
spiritualism, as Goethe did between the taste of the eighteenth 
century and that of the “historical sense” (which is essentially a 
sense for the exotic), as German music did between French and 
Italian music, as Charlemagne did between imperium Romanum 
and nationalism — delayers par excellence.) 73 


" The final paragraph was composed by the German editors from dif- 
ferent drafts (1911, p. 500). 

13 Cf. The Antichrist, section 61 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 653). 



book one: European Nihilism 


65 


102 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

In how far the Christian centuries with their pessimism were 
stronger centuries than the eighteenth century — like the tragic 
era of the Greeks. 

The nineteenth century vis-a-vis the eighteenth century. In 
what respects heir — in what respects a regression (poorer in “spirit” 
and taste) — in what respects progress (darker, 74 more realistic, 
stronger) . 


103 (1883-1888)™ 

What does it mean that we have such a feeling for the cam- 
pagna Romana? And for high mountain ranges? What is the 
meaning of our nationalism? 78 

Chateaubriand in 1803, in a letter to M. de Fontanes, gives 
the first impression of the campagna Romana. 

President de Brasses says of the campagna Romana: "il fallait 
que Romulus fut ivre, quand il songea a batir une ville dans un 
terrain aussi laid.”™ 

Delacroix, too, did not like Rome, it frightened him. He was 
enthusiastic about Venice, like Shakespeare, like Byron, like George 
Sand. This aversion to Rome also in Theoph. Gautier — and in 
Rich. Wagner. 

Lamartine has found language for Sorrent and Posilipp. 

Victor Hugo was enthusiastic about Spain, "parce que aucune 
autre nation n’a moins emprunte a Vantiquite, parce qu’elle n’a 
subi aucune influence classique.” 78 


104 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

The two great tentative ones, made to overcome the eighteenth 
century: 

Diisterer. Above, Verdusterung has been rendered sometimes as 
‘'eclipse. 1 ' 

" Composed by the editor of the standard edition from various drafts. 

“This sentence is found only in 1911, p. 500. 

" Romulus must have been drunk when he thought of building a city 
in such an ugly place. 

“Because no other nation borrowed less from antiquity, because she 
underwent no classical Influence. 




66 


THE WILL TO POWER 


Napoleon, by awakening again the man, the soldier, and the 
great fight for power — conceiving Europe as a political 
unit; 

Goethe, by imagining a European culture that would harvest 
the full inheritance of attained humanity. 

German culture of this century arouses mistrust — in music 
this full, redeeming and binding element of Goethe is lacking— 
The Austrians have remained German only by virtue of their 
music. 79 


105 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The preponderance of music in the romantics of 1839 and 
1840. Delacroix. Ingres, a passionate musician (cult of Gluck, 
Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart), said to his students in Rome, "si je 
pouvais vous rendre tom musiciens, vous y gagneriez comme 
peintres”f° also Horace Vernet, with a special passion for Don 
Giovanni (as Mendelssohn testifies, 1831); also Stendhal, who said 
of himself: Combien de lieues ne jerais-je pas & pied, et a combien 
de jours de prison ne me soumetterais-je pas pour entendre Don 
Juan ou le Matromonio segreto: et je ne sais pour quelle autre chose 
je ferais cet effort. 81 At that time he was 56. 

Borrowed forms; e.g., Brahms as typical “epigone”; Mendels- 
sohn’s educated Protestantism, ditto (an earlier “soul” is re cap- 
tured poetically — ) 

— moral and poetical substitutions in Wagner, one art as stopgap 
for deficiencies in the others 

— the “historical sense,” inspiration from poetry and ancient 
sagas 

— that typical transformation of which G. Flaubert offers the 
clearest example among the French and Richard Wagner among 
the Germans, in which the romantic faith in love and the future 
is transformed into the desire for the nothing, 1830 into 1850. 

106 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Why does German music culminate in the period of German 

"The last sentence is found only in 1911, p. 500. 

“ If I could make you all musicians you’d become better painters. 

“ How many leagues would 1 not walk and how many days in prison 
would I not endure to hear Don Giovanni or Le Matrimonio Segreto; and I 
don’t know for what else I should make such an effort. 




book one: European Nihilism 


67 


romanticism? Why is Goethe missing in German music? How much 
Schiller — more precisely, how much “Thekia” 82 — there is in Beet- 
hoven! 

Schumann has in himself Eichendorff, Uhland, Heine, Hoff- 
mann, Tieck. Richard Wagner has Freischutz, 83 Hoffmann, Grimm, 
the romantic saga, the mystical Catholicism of instinct, symbolism, 
the “libertinism of passion” (Rousseau’s intent). The Flying Dutch- 
man tastes of France, where le tcnebreux Hi was the type of the 
seducer in 1830. 

Cult of music, of the revolutionary romanticism of form. 
Wagner sums up romanticism, German as well as French — 

107 (1888) 

Estimated merely for his value for Germany and German 
culture, Richard Wagner remains a great question mark, perhaps 
a German misfortune, in any case a destiny: but what does it mat- 
ter? Isn’t he very much more than merely a German event? It even 
seems to me that there is no place where he belongs less than 
Germany: nothing was prepared for him there; his whole type 
remains simply strange among Germans, odd, uncomprehended, 
incomprehensible. But one is careful not to admit this to oneself: 
for that one is too kindly, too square, 85 too German. "Credo quia 
absurdus est": ao that is what the German spirit wants and also 
wanted in this case — and so it believes for the present whatever 
Wagner wanted people to believe about him. The German spirit 
has at all times lacked subtlety and divination in psychologicis. 
Today, under the high pressure of fatherlandism and self-admira- 
tion, it is visibly thickening and becoming coarser: how should it 
be capable of coping with the problem of Wagner! — 


“Woman in the cast of Schiller’s Wallenstein. 

** Opera by Lortzing. 

“The dark (or devilish) man. 

10 Viereckig. Nietzsche’s use of this word, which literally means quad- 
rangular or square, is somewhat eccentric. He means, angular, solid, un- 
subtle — and the overtones of the American “square” seem entirely appro- 
priate. 

“ “I believe because he is absurd.” Variation of the famous, "I believe 
because it is absurd,” usually ascribed to Tertullian. 



68 


THE WILL TO POWER 


108 ( 1885 ) 

So far, the Germans are nothing, but they will become some- 
thing; thus they have no culture yet — thus they cannot have any 
culture yet. That is my proposition: let those who cannot help it 
take offense. — So far they are nothing: that means, they are all 
sorts of things. They will become something-: that means, they will 
stop some day being all sorts of things. The latter is at bottom a 
mere wish, scarcely a hope; fortunately, a wish on which one can 
live, a matter of will, of work, of discipline, of breeding, as well as 
a matter of annoyance , 87 of desire, of missing something, of dis- 
comfort, even of embitterment — in brief, we Germans desire some- 
thing from ourselves that has not yet been desired from us — we 
desire something more! 

That this “German as he is not yet” deserves something better 
than today’s German “Bildung”; sa that all who are “in the process 
of becoming” must be furious when they perceive some satisfaction 
in this area, an impertinent “retiring on one’s laurels” or “self- 
congratulation”: that is my second proposition on which I also 
have not yet changed my mind. 

109 ( 1885 ) 

Principle: There is an element of decay in everything that char- 
acterizes modem man: but close beside this sickness stand signs of 
an untested force and powerfulness of the soul. The same reasons 
that produce the increasing smallness of man drive the stronger 
and rarer individuals up to greatness , 89 


" Unwillen, literally: un-will. A play on words. 

“The word means both culture and education — that which is taken to 
distinguish those who are “educated.” 

The early editors’ intent in placing this note of 1885 after the preceding 
note of 1888, by way of concluding a subsection (the subheads have been 
dropped above), is palpable: one did not wish to conclude with a sharp 
criticism of Germany and dredged up an older note in which Nietzsche had 
identified himself with the Germans, at least to some extent. The published 
statements of his last year speak for themselves: see The Case of Wagner 
and the chapter on the Germans (p. 505 in Portable Nietzsche ) in Twilight 
of the Idols; also the chapter on The Case of Wagner in Ecce Homo. 

" Compare section 70 above. 




book one: European Nihilism 


69 


110 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overall insight: the ambiguous character of our modern world 
— the very same symptoms could point to decline and to strength. 
And the signs of strength, of the attainment of majority, could be 
misconstrued as weakness on the basis of traditional (residual) 
negative emotional valuations. In brief, our feelings, as feelings 
about values, are not up to date. 

To generalize: feelings about values are always behind the 
times; they express conditions of preservation and growth that 
belong to times long gone by; they resist new conditions of existence 
with which they cannot cope and which they necessarily misunder- 
stand: thus they inhibit and arouse suspicion against what is new. — 

111 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The problem of the nineteenth century. Whether its strong and 
weak sides belong together? Whether it is all of one piece? Whether 
the diverseness of its ideals and their mutual inconsistency are due 
to a higher aim: as something higher? — For it could be the pre- 
condition of greatness to grow to such an extent in violent tension. 
Dissatisfaction, nihilism could be a good sign. 

112 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overall insight . — Actually, every major growth is accom- 
panied by a tremendous crumbling and passing away: suffering, 
the symptoms of decline belong in the times of tremendous 
advances; every fruitful and powerful movement of humanity has 
also created at the same time a nihilistic movement. It could be 
the sign of a crucial and most essential growth, of the transition 
to new conditions of existence, that the most extreme form of 
pessimism, genuine nihilism, would come into the world. This I 
have comprehended. 


113 (1883-1888) 

(A) 

To begin with a full and cordial tribute to contemporary 
humanity: not to be deceived by appearances — this type of human- 
ity is less striking but gives far better warranties of duration; its 



70 


THE WILL TO POWER 


tempo is slower, but the beat is much richer. Health is increasing, 
the actual conditions for a strong body get recognized and are 
slowly created, “asceticism” ironice. w One shrinks from extremes; 
a certain confidence in the “right road”; 91 no enthusing; temporary 
acclimatization to narrower values (like “fatherland,” like “scholar- 
ship,” etc.). 

Still, this whole picture would remain ambiguous: it could be 
an ascending but also a descending movement of life. 

(B) 

Faith in “ progress ” — in the lower spheres of intelligence it 
appears as ascending life; but this is self-deception; in the higher 
spheres of intelligence as decending life. 

Description of the symptoms. 

Unity of point of view: uncertainty about standards of value. 

Fear of a general “in vain.” 

Nihilism. 


114 ( June 10, 1887 ) 93 

Actually, we have no longer such need of an antidote to the 
first nihilism: life in our Europe is no longer that uncertain, capri- 
cious, absurd. Such a tremendous increase in the value of man, the 
value of trouble, etc., is not so needful now; we can take a signifi- 
cant decrease of this value, we may concede much absurdity and 
caprice: the power man has attained now permits a demotion of 
the means of breeding of which the moral interpretation was the 
strongest. “God”’ is far too extreme a hypothesis. 

115 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

If anything signifies our humanization — a genuine and actual 
progress — it is the fact that we no longer require excessive opposi- 
tions, indeed no opposites at all — 

we may love the senses, we have spiritualized and made 
them artistic in every degree; 


" Ironically. 

"Allusion to Goethe’s Faust, line 329. 
“ See footnote to section 4 above. 



BOOK one: European Nihilism 


71 


we have a right to all those things which were most maligned 
until now. 83 


116 {Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The inversion of the order of rank. — The pious counter- 
feiters, the priests, among us become chandalas — they replace the 
charlatans, quacks, counterfeiters, and wizards; we consider them 
corrupters of the will, great slanderers of life on which they wish 
to revenge themselves, rebels among the underprivileged. We have 
turned the caste of servants, the Sudras, into our middle class, our 
"Volk” [“people”], those who make political decisions. 84 

On the other hand, the chandala of former times is at the top: 
foremost, those who blaspheme God, the immoralists, the nomads 
of every type, the artists, Jews, musicians — at bottom, all disreputa- 
ble classes of men — 

We have raised ourselves to the level of honorable thoughts; 
even more, we determine honor on earth, “nobility” — All of us 
are today advocates of life . — We immoralists are today the strong- 
est power: the other great powers need us — we construe the world 
in our image — 

We have transferred the concept of the “chandala” to the 
priests, teachers of a beyond, and the Christian society that is 
grown together with them, as well as all who are of the same origin, 
the pessimists, nihilists, romantics of pity, criminals, vice addicts — 
the whole sphere in which the concept of “God” is imagined as a 
savior — 

We are proud of no longer having to be liars, slanderers, men 
who cast suspicion on life — 83 

" An exceptionally interesting note, though of course no more than a 
note. Vermenschlichung, our becoming more humane, is the only thing 
worthy of being considered genuine progress, and it consists in spiritualizing 
( vergeistigen ) the senses instead of condemning them as evil. The naivete 
of postulating opposites where in fact there are only differences in degree is 
also condemned in Nietzsche’s books, e.g., in Beyond Good and Evil, section 
24 (New York: Vintage, 1966). For the final remark, see the chapter “On 
the Three Evils” in Zarathustra , Part 111, p. 300 ff in Portable Nietzsche. 

"At this point the MS continued, according to 1911, p. 500, although 
the standard editions omit the following words: “business and land owners— 
the military — the scholarly classes.” 

* In the ancient Hindu Law of Manu the priestly caste (Brahmins) is 
the highest, the Sudras form the lowest caste, and the chandalas are out- 
casts. For Nietzsche’s critique of the Law of Manu see the chapter on ‘The 
‘Improvers’ of Mankind” in Twilight ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 503-505). In 




72 


THE WILL TO POWER 


117 {Spring-Fall 1887)™ 

Progress of the nineteenth century against the eighteenth 
( — at bottom we good Europeans wage a war against the eighteenth 
century — ) : 

1. “Return to nature” understood more and more decisively 
in the opposite sense from Rousseau’s. Away from idyl and 
opera! 

2. more and more decisively anti-idealistic, more concrete, 
more fearless, industrious, moderate, suspicious against 
sudden changes, antirevolutionary; 

3. more and more decisively the question concerning the 
health of the body is put ahead of that of “the soul”: the 
latter being understood as a state consequent upon the 
former, and the former at the very least as a precondition 
of the health of the soul. 

118 {1883-1888) 

If anything at all has been achieved, it is a more innocuous 
relation to the senses, a more joyous, benevolent, Goethean atti- 
tude toward sensuality; also a prouder feeling regarding the search 
for knowledge, so that the “pure fool” 97 is not given much credit. 

119 {Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

We who are " objective — It is not “pity” that opens the 
gates to the most distant and strange types of being and culture to 
us, but rather our accessibility and lack of partiality that does not 
empathize with or share suffering 98 but on the contrary takes delight 
in a hundred things that formerly led people to suffer (feel outraged 
or deeply moved, or prompted hostile and cold looks — ). Suffer- 
ing in all its nuances has become interesting for us: in this respect 

this note two terms Gide used in book titles occur together: The Immoralist 
and The Counterfeiters. The former was published before this note, but in- 
fluenced by Nietzsche’s use of the same term elsewhere. 

"See the footnote to section 124 below; also the Appendix. 

" Glorified by Wagner in Parsifal. 

" "Nicht das 'Mitieid' " and "weiche gerade nicht ’mitleidet’ the Ger- 
man word for pity ( Mitieid ) means literally “suffering with” — like “compas- 
sion” and “sympathy.” 




book one: European Nihilism 73 

we are certainly not fuller of pity, even when we are shaken by the 
sight of suffering and moved to tears: we do not by any means for 
that reason feel like helping. 

In this voluntary desire to contemplate all sorts of distress and 
transgressions 98 we have become stronger and more vigorous than 
the eighteenth century was; it is a proof of our increase in vigor 
(we have come closer to the seventeenth and sixteenth centuries — ). 
But it is a profound misunderstanding to construe our “roman- 
ticism” as a proof that our “souls” have become “more beautiful” — 

We desire strong sensations as all coarser ages and social 
strata do. — This should be distinguished from the needs of those 
with weak nerves and the decadents: they have a need for pepper, 
even for cruelty — 

All of us seek states in which bourgeois morality no longer 
has any say, and priestly morality even less ( — every book to 
which some of the air of pastors and theologians still clings gives 
us the impression of a pitiable niaiserie 100 and poverty. — “Good 
society” consists of those whom at bottom nothing interests except 
what is forbidden in bourgeois society and gives a bad reputation: 
the same applies to books, music, politics, and the estimation of 
woman. 


120 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

How man has become more natural in the nineteenth century 
(the eighteenth century is that of elegance, refinement, and senti- 
ments genereux ). — Not “return to nature” — for there has never 
yet been a natural humanity. The scholasticism of un- and anti- 
natural values is the rule, is the beginning; man reaches nature only 
after a long struggle — he never “returns” — Nature: i.e., daring to 
be immoral like nature. 

We are coarser, more direct, full of irony against generous 
feelings even when we succumb to them. 

More natural is our first society, that of the rich, the leisure 
class: they hunt each other, love between the sexes is a kind of 
sport in which marriage furnishes an obstacle and a provocation; 
they amuse themselves and live for pleasure; they esteem physical 
advantages above all, are curious and bold. 


” Vergehen could also mean “passing away” instead of “transgressions.” 
Silliness. 




74 


THE WILL TO POWER 


More natural is our attitude to the search for knowledge: we 
possess libertinage of the spirit in all innocence, we hate pompous 
and hieratical manners, we delight in what is most forbidden, we 
should hardly know any longer of any interest of knowledge if the 
way to it were paved with boredom. 

More natural is our attitude toward morality. Principles have 
become ridiculous; nobody permits himself any longer to speak 
without irony of his “duty.” But a helpful, benevolent disposition 
is esteemed (morality is found in an instinct, and the rest is 
spumed . 101 In addition a few concepts of points of honor — ) . 

More natural is our position in politicis: we see problems of 
power, of one quantum of power against another. We do not believe 
in any right that is not supported by the power of enforcement: we 
feel all rights to be conquests. 

More natural is our estimation of great human beings and 
great things: we consider passion a privilege, we consider nothing 
great unless it includes a great crime; we conceive all being-great 
as a placing-oneself-outside as far as morality is concerned. 

More natural is our attitude toward nature: we no longer love 
it on account of its “innocence,” “reason,” or “beauty”; we have 
made it nicely “devilish” and “dumb.” But instead of despising it 
on that account, we have felt more closely related to it ever since, 
more at home in it. It does not aspire to virtue, and for that we 
respect nature. 

More natural is our attitude toward art: we do not demand 
beautiful illusory lies from it, etc.; brutal positivism reigns, recog- 
nizing facts without becoming excited. 

In summa: there are signs that the European of the nineteenth 
century is less ashamed of his instincts; he has taken a goodly step 
toward admitting to himself his unconditional naturalness, i.e., his 
immorality, without becoming embittered — on the contrary, strong 
enough to endure only this sight. 

This sounds to some ears as if corruption had progressed — 
and it is certain that man has not come close to that “nature" of 
which Rousseau speaks but has progressed another step in civiliza- 
tion, which Rousseau abhorred. We have become stronger: we have 
again come closer to the seventeenth century, especially to the 
taste of its end (Dancourt, Lesage, Regnard ). 102 


"Dedaignirt." 

IM Florent Carton Dancourt (1661-1725), French dramatist; Alain Rene 



book one: European Nihilism 


75 


121 {1888) 

Culture contra civilization . 10s — The high points of culture 
and civilization do not coincide: one should not be deceived about 
the abysmal antagonism of culture and civilization. The great mo- 
ments of culture were always, morally speaking, times of corrup- 
tion; and conversely, the periods when the taming of the human 
animal (“civilization”) was desired and enforced were times of 
intolerance against the boldest and most spiritual natures. Civiliza- 
tion has aims different from those of culture — perhaps they are 
even opposite — 


122 (January-Fall 1888) 

What I warn against: the instincts of decadence should not be 
confused with humaneness; 10 * 

the means of civilization, which lead to disintegration and 
necessarily to decadence, should not be confused with 
culture; 

the Iibertinage, the principle of “laisser alter,” should not 
be confused with the will to power ( — which is the coun- 
terprinciple). 

123 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The unfinished problems I pose anew: the problem of civiliza- 
tion, the fight between Rousseau and Voltaire around 1760. Man 
becomes more profound, mistrustful, “immoral,” stronger, more 
confident of himself — and to this extent “more natural”: this is 
“progress.” — At the same time, in accordance with a kind of divi- 
sion of labor, the strata that have become more evil are separated 
from those that have become milder and tamer — so that the overall 
fact is not noticed immediately. — It is characteristic of strength, of 
the self-control and fascination of strength, that these stronger 
strata possess the art of making others experience their progress in 


Lesage (1668-1747), French novelist and dramatist; and Jean Frangois 
Regnard (1655-1709), French comic dramatist. 

,ra This title was added by the German editors. 

JW Hwnanitat. 


76 


THE WILL TO POWER 


evil as something higher. It is characteristic of every “progress” 
that the strengthened elements are reinterpreted as “good.” 


124 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

To give men back the courage to their natural drives — 

To check their self-underestimation (not that of man as an 
individual but that of man as nature — ) — 

To remove antitheses from things after comprehending that 
we have projected them there — 

To remove the idiosyncrasies of society from existence (guilt, 
punishment, justice, honesty, freedom, love, etc.) — 

Progress toward “naturalness”: in all political questions, also 
in the relations of parties, even of commercial, workers’, and em- 
ployers’ parties, questions of power are at stake— “what one can 
do,” and only after that what one ought to do. 105 

105 Podach, op. cit., pp. 203 ff, says of Schlechta's edition that “some 
most important points have eluded him. Only two examples: 

I. In the one-volume edition of The Will to Power [1901], the aphorism 
to which Nietzsche assigned number 80 in W. II 1, 47/48 [the reference is 
to pp. 47/48 of one of his notebooks], was reproduced as aphorism 36. 
Weiss [in the two-volume edition of 1911, which — except for the important 
editorial apparatus at the end of the second volume— is merely a reprint of 
the second edition of 1906] made two [aphorisms] out of it (117 and 124), 
although Nietzsche had also listed this aphorism in W II 4 as ‘80: Progress 
of the growing naturalness of the nineteenth century.’ A juxtaposition of the 
two versions shows that in 124 in Weiss’s version the paragraph is missing 
that in the one-volume edition concludes the aphorism: 

'that meanwhile, in the midst of the mechanics of grand politics, the Chris- 
tian trumpet is still sounded ( for example, in bulletins about victories or 
in the Kaiser's addresses to the nation), belongs more and more with the 
things that are becoming impossible; for it offends good taste.’ 

“Schlechta knows nothing of this, although it would have been useful 
to him in his reprint. It is equally unknown to him that the editors of The 
Will to Power of 1901 recorded in their notes (p. 131 [actually, 531]): ‘A 
short sentence has been omitted here.’ Otto Weiss did not mention this. 

“The unpublished sentence reads: ‘The throat of the crown prince is 
not one of God’s affairs.’ " 

This is scarcely an earth-shaking revelation. Indeed, it is of interest 
mainly as negative evidence: this is offered as one of the two “most impor- 
tant points” — Wichtigstes might also be rendered as “most significant” — 
that have eluded Podach’s predecessors down to Schlechta. Podach's second 
example has already been considered in the footnote to section 2. (See also 
my article, cited at the end of that note.) 

The “unpublished sentence” was evidently written in 1887, when the 
crown prince of Germany was suffering from a throat ailment that killed 
him a hundred days after he succeeded to the imperial throne in 1888. In 
his correspondence Nietzsche then expressed his respect for him and his 


book one: European Nihilism 


77 


125 (1885 ) 106 

Socialism — -as the logical conclusion of the tyranny of the 
least and the dumbest, i.e., those who are superficial, envious, and 
three-quarters actors — is indeed entailed by “modern ideas” and 
their latent anarchism; but in the tepid air of democratic well-being 
the capacity to reach conclusions, or to finish, weakens. One follows 
— but one no longer sees what follows. Therefore socialism is on 
the whole a hopeless and sour affair; and nothing offers a more 
amusing spectacle than the contrast between the poisonous and 
desperate faces cut by today’s socialists — and to what wretched 
and pinched feelings their style bears witness! — and the harmless 
lambs’ happiness of their hopes and desiderata. Nevertheless, in 
many places in Europe they may yet bring off occasional coups and 
attacks: there will be deep “rumblings” in the stomach of the next 
century, and the Paris commune, which has its apologists and advo- 
cates in Germany, too, was perhaps no more than a minor indiges- 
tion compared to what is coming. But there will always be too 
many who have possessions for socialism to signify more than an 
attack of sickness — and those who have possessions are of one 
mind on one article of faith: “one must possess something in order 
to be something.” But this is the oldest and healthiest of all in- 
stincts: I should add, “one must want to have more than one has 
in order to become more.” For this is the doctrine preached by 
life itself to all that has life: the morality of development. To have 
and to want to have more — growth, in one word — that is life itself. 
In the doctrine of socialism there is hidden, rather badly, a “will 
to negate life”; the human beings or races that think up such a 
doctrine must be bungled. Indeed, I should wish that a few great 
experiments might prove that in a socialist society life negates itself, 
cuts off its own roots. The earth is large enough and man still 
sufficiently unexhausted; hence such a practical instruction and 

disappointment — Friedrich III was a more likable emperor than his son and 
successor, Wilhelm II. The “unpublished sentence” clearly was not closely 
related to the contents of either section 117 or section 124 but merely a 
note Nietzsche had jotted down for himself, and posterity was not cheated 
by its suppression. It was evidently no more than a reaction to someone 
who had dragged in God in a way that had irritated Nietzsche. 

For facsimiles and further discussion see front of book and Appendix. 

“"The manuscript is not in Nietzsche’s handwriting but was evidently 
dictated by him — and then corrected and amplified in his hand. See 1911, 
p. 500. 




78 


THE WILL TO POWER 


demonstratio ad absurdum would not strike me as undesirable, 
even if it were gained and paid for with a tremendous expenditure 
of human lives. In any case, even as a restless mole under the soil 
of a society that wallows in stupidity, socialism will be able to be 
something useful and therapeutic: it delays “peace on earth” and 
the total mollification of the democratic herd animal; it forces the 
Europeans to retain spirit, namely cunning and cautious care, not 
to abjure manly and warlike virtues altogether, and to retain some 
remnant of spirit, of clarity, sobriety, and coldness of the spirit — 
it protects Europe for the time being from the marasmus 107 femi- 
ninus that threatens it. 

126 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The most favorable inhibitions and remedies of modernity : 

1. universal military service with real wars in which the time for 
joking is past; 

2. national bigotry (simplifies, concentrates) ; 

3. improved nutrition (meat); 

4. increasing cleanliness and healthfulness of domiciles; 

5. hegemony of physiology over theology, moralism, economics, 
and politics; 

6. military severity in the demand for and handling of one’s 
“obligations” (one does not praise any more — ) . 

127 {1884) 

I am glad about the military development of Europe; also of 
the internal states of anarchy: the time of repose and Chinese ossi- 
fication, which Galiani predicted for this century, is over. Personal 
manly virtu, 105 virtu of the body, 109 is regaining value, estimation 
becomes more physical, nutrition meatier. Beautiful men are again 
becoming possible. Pallid hypocrisy (with mandarins at the top, 
as Comte dreamed) is over. The barbarian in each of us is affirmed; 
also the wild beast. Precisely for that reason philosophers have a 
future. — Kant is a scarecrow, some day! 110 

*" Withering: a Greek medical term found in Galen, the second-century 
(A.D.) physician. 

Tiichtigkeit. 

10 ’ Leibes-Tiichtigkeit. 

*" Gerade deshalb wird es mehr werden mit den Philosoplien. — Kant 
ist eine Vogelscheuche, irgend wann einnial! A very rough note, quite 
unpolished. 




book one: European Nihilism 


79 


128 { 1884 ) 

I have as yet found no reason for discouragement. Whoever 
has preserved, and bred in himself, a strong will, together with an 
ample spirit, has more favorable opportunities than ever. For the 
trainability of men has become very great in this democratic 
Europe; men who learn easily and adapt themselves easily are the 
rule: the herd animal, even highly intelligent, has been prepared. 
Whoever can command finds those who must obey: I am thinking, 
e.g., of Napoleon and Bismarck. The rivalry with strong and un- 
intelligent wills, which is the greatest obstacle, is small. Who doesn’t 
topple these “objective” gentlemen with weak wills, like Ranke or 
Renan! 


129 ( 1885 ) 

Spiritual enlightenment is an infallible means for making men 
unsure, weaker in will, so they are more in need of company and 
support — in short, for developing the herd animal in man. There- 
fore all great artists of government so far (Confucius in China, the 
imperium Romanum, Napoleon, the papacy at the time when it 
took an interest in power and not merely in the world), in the 
places where the dominant instincts have culminated so far, also 
employed spiritual enlightenment — at least let it have its way (like 
the popes of the Renaissance). The self-deception of the mass con- 
cerning this point, e.g., in every democracy, is extremely valuable: 
making men smaller and more governable is desired as “progress”! 

130 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

The highest equity and mildness as a state of weakening (the 
New Testament and the original Christian community — apparent 
as complete betise 111 in the Englishmen, Darwin and Wallace 112 ). 
Your equity, you higher natures, impels you toward suffrage uni- 
versel, etc.; your “humanity,” toward mildness confronted with 
crime and stupidity. In the long run you thus make stupidity and 
the unscrupulous victorious: comfort and stupidity — the mean. 

Externally; age of tremendous wars, upheavals, explosions. 

1.1 Stupidity. ™ ~ 

1.2 Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913). 




80 


the will to power 


Internally : ever greater weakness of man, events as excitants. The 
Parisian as the European extreme. 

Consequences: (1) barbarians (at first, of course, below the 
form of culture so far [e.g., DUhring 113 ]); (2) sovereign indi- 
viduals (where masses of barbarian force are crossed with a lack 
of all restraint regarding whatever has been). Age of the greatest 
stupidity, brutality, and the masses, and of the highest individuals. 

131 (1884) 

Innumerable individuals of a higher type now perish: but 
whoever gets away is strong as the devil. Similar to the situation at 
the time of the Renaissance. 

132 (1885) 

Good Europeans that we are — what distinguishes us above 
the men of fatherlands?— First, we are atheists and immoralists, 
but for the present we support the religions and moralities of the 
herd instinct: for these prepare a type of man that must one day 
fall into our hands, that must desire our hands. 

Beyond good and evil — but we demand that herd morality 
should be held sacred unconditionally. 

We hold in reserve many types of philosophy which need to 
be taught: possibly, the pessimistic type, as a hammer; a European 
Buddhism might perhaps be indispensable. 

We probably support the development and maturing of demo- 
cratic institutions: they enhance weakness of the will: in socialism 
we see a thorn that protects against comfortableness. 

Position toward peoples. Our preferences; we pay attention to 
the results of interbreeding. 

Apart, wealthy, strong: irony at the expense of the “press” 
and its culture. Worry lest scholars become journalistic. We feel 
contemptuous of every kind of culture that is compatible with read- 
ing, not to speak of writing for, newspapers. 

We take our accidental positions (like Goethe, Stendhal), 
our experiences, as foreground and stress them to deceive about our 
depths. We ourselves are waiting and beware of staking our hearts 
on them. They serve us as hostels for a night, which a wanderer 
needs and accepts — we beware of settling down. 

1,3 “E.g., Diihring” is found only in 191 i, p. 500. 




book one: European Nihilism 81 

We are ahead of our fellow men in possessing a disciplina 
voluntatis. All strength applied to development of strength of the 
will, an art that permits us to wear masks, an art of understanding 
beyond the affects (also to think in a “supra-European” way, at 
times). 

Preparation for becoming the legislators of the future, the 
masters of the earth, at least our children. Basic concern with 
marriages. 


133 {1885) 

The twentieth century . — Abbe Galiani once said: La privoy- 
ance est la cause des guerres actuelles de VEurope. Si Yon voulait 
se donner la peine de ne rien prevoir, tout le monde serait tran- 
quille, et je ne crois pas qu’on serait plus malheureux parce qu’on 
ne ferait pas la guerre. 11 * Since I do not by any means share the 
unwarlike views of my friend Galiani, I am not afraid of predicting 
a few things and thus, possibly, of conjuring up the cause of wars. 

A tremendous stock-taking 133 after the most terrible earth- 
quake: with new questions. 


134 ( 1885-1886 ) 

This is the time of the great noon, of the most terrible clearing 
up: my type of pessimism — great point of departure. 

I. Basic contradiction in civilization and the enhancement of 
man. 

II. Moral valuations as a history of lies and the art of slander in 
the service of a will to power (the herd will that rebels against 
the human beings who are stronger). 

III. The conditions of every enhancement of culture (making pos- 
sible a selection 116 at the expense of a mass) are the conditions 


1,4 "Foresight is the cause of Europe’s present wars. If one would take 
pains to foresee nothing, the whole world would be tranquil, and I do not 
believe that one would be worse off for not waging war.” The quotation 
was inserted by Peter Gast. 

115 Beslnnung has no exact English equivalent. Sinn is sense (in most of 
the meanings of "sense”); sich besinnen is to reflect; sich auf etwas besinnen, 
to remember something; zur Besinnung kommen, to regain consciousness or 
come to one’s senses again; and besonnen, sober, prudent, deliberate. 

M Auswahl. Here it is well to think not only of Darwin and natural 



82 


THE WILL TO POWER 


of all growth. 

IV. The multiple ambiguity 117 of the world as a question of 
strength that sees all things in the perspective of its growth. 
Moral-Christian value judgments as slaves* rebellion and 
slaves’ mendaciousness (against the aristocratic values of the 
ancient world). How far does art reach down into the essence 
of strength ? 118 


selection but also of the Bible, the concept of the chosen people ( auser - 
wahltes Volk), and above all the prophetic idea of the remnant. 
Vieldeutigkeit. 

>u For the final question, omitted in most editions, see 1911, p. 500. 


BOOK TWO 

CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHEST 
VALUES HITHERTO 




I. CRITIQUE OF RELIGION 1 

All the beauty and sublimity we have bestowed upon real and 
imaginary things I will reclaim as the property and product of 
man: as his fairest apology. Man as poet, as thinker, as God, as 
love, as power: with what regal liberality he has lavished gifts 
upon things so as to impoverish himself and make himself feel 
wretched! His most unselfish act hitherto has been to admire and 
worship and to know how to conceal from himself that it was he 
who created what he admired. — 2 

1. Genesis of Religions 

135 ( March-June 1888 ) 

On the origin of religion . — In the same way as today the un- 
educated man believes that anger is the cause of his being angry, 
spirit the cause of his thinking, soul the cause of his feeling — in 
short, just as there is still thoughtlessly posited a mass of psy- 
chological entities that are supposed to be causes — so, at a yet 
more naive stage, man explained precisely the same phenomena 
with the aid of psychological personal entities. Those conditions 
that seemed to him strange, thrilling, overwhelming, he interpreted 
as obsession and enchantment by the power of a person. (Thus 
the Christian, the most naive and backward species of man today, 
traces hope, repose, the feeling of “redemption,” back to psy- 
chological inspiration by God: to him, as an essentially suffering 
and disturbed type, the feeling of happiness, resignation and 
repose naturally seems strange and in need of explanation.) 
Among intelligent, strong, and vigorous races it is mainly the 
epileptic who inspires the conviction that a strange power is here 
at work; but every related condition of subjection, e.g., that of 
the inspired man, of the poet, of the great criminal, of passions 
such as love and revenge, also leads to the invention of extra- 

1 Much of the material brought together in this first part of Book Two 
might have been given the title “Journal of The Antichrist" (after Andre 
Gide’s “Journal of The Counterfeiters "), but some of these notes were also 
utilized in Twilight of the Idols. With a very few exceptions, the correspond- 
ing passages in these two books have not been indicated specifically in the 
following pages, lest the number of editorial notes become excessive. 

’The German editors furnish no MS source, date, or number for this 

note. 




86 


THE WILL TO POWER 


human powers. A condition is made concrete in a person, and 
when it overtakes us is thought to be effected by that person. In 
other words: In the psychological concept of God, a condition, 
in order to appear as effect, is personified as cause. 

The psychological logic is this: When a man is suddenly and 
overwhelmingly suffused with the feeling of power — and this is 
what happens with all great affects — it raises in him a doubt about 
his own person: he does not dare to think himself the cause of 
this astonishing feeling — and so he posits a stronger person, a 
divinity, to account for it. 

In summa: the origin of religion lies in extreme feelings of 
power which, because they are strange, take men by surprise: 
and like a sick man who, feeling one of his limbs uncommonly 
heavy, comes to the conclusion another man is lying on top of 
him, the naive homo religiosus 3 divides himself into several persons. 
Religion is a case of "alteration de la personality” A sort of feel- 
ing of fear and terror at oneself — But also a feeling of extraor- 
dinary happiness and exaltation — Among the sick the feeling 
of health is sufficient to inspire belief in God, in the nearness of 
God. 


136 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Rudimentary psychology of the religious man : — All changes 
are effects; all effects are effects of will { — the concept “nature,” 
“law of nature” is lacking); all effects suppose an agent. Rudi- 
mentary psychology: one is a cause oneself only when one knows 
that one has performed an act of will. 

Result: when man experiences the conditions of power, the 
imputation is that he is not their cause, that he is not responsible 
for them: they come without being willed, consequently we are 
not their author: the will that is not free (i.e., the consciousness 
that we have been changed without having willed it) needs an 
external will. 

Consequence: man has not dared to credit himself with all 
his strong and surprising impulses — he has conceived them as 
“passive,” as “suffered,” as things imposed upon him: religion is 
the product of a doubt concerning the unity of the person, an 
alteration of the personality: in so far as everything great and 


* Religious man. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 87 

strong in man has been conceived as superhuman and external, 
man has belittled himself — he has separated the two sides of him- 
self, one very paltry and weak, one very strong and astonishing, 
into two spheres, and called the former “man,” the latter “God.” 

He has continued to think in this way; in the period of the 
moral idiosyncrasy he did not interpret his exalted and sublime 
moral states as “willed,” as “work” of the person. The Christian 
too divides his person into a mean and weak fiction which he calls 
man, and another which he calls God (redeemer, savior) — 

Religion has debased the concept “man”; its ultimate con- 
sequence is that everything good, great, true is superhuman and 
bestowed only through an act of grace — 

137 ( March- June 1888) 

One way of raising man from the abasement produced by 
the subtraction of exalted and strong states as foreign conditions 
was the family theory. These exalted and strong states could at 
least be interpreted as the influence of our ancestors; we belonged 
together, in solidarity; we grow greater in our own eyes when we 
act according to a norm known to us. 

Attempt by noble families to square religion with the feeling 
of their own worth. Poets and seers do the same: they feel proud, 
honored, and chosen for such an association — they attach great 
importance to not being considered at all as individuals, but merely 
as mouthpieces (Homer). 

Step by step man takes possession of his exalted and proud 
states, he takes possession of his acts and works. Formerly one 
believed one was doing oneself an honor by denying responsibility 
for one’s highest acts and attributing them to— God. Absence of 
free will counted as that which imparted a higher value to an 
action: a god was conceived as its author.* 

138 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Priests are the actors of something superhuman which they 
have to make easily perceptible, whether it be in the nature of 

* In the MS this section is entitled “A form of religion for establishing 
human pride.” And the MS version also contains the following sentence, 
crossed out by Nietzsche: “Another form of religion. The god elects, the 
god becomes man, and god dwells among men and leaves behind great 
benefactions. The local legend, eternally represented as ‘drama.’ ” 



88 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ideals, gods, or saviors: in this they find their calling, for this their 
instincts serve them; to make everything as believable as possible 
they have to go as far as possible in posturing and posing; the 
shrewdness of their actor’s art must above all aim at giving them a 
good conscience, by means of which alone is it possible to carry 
true conviction. 


139 {March-} une 1888) 

The priest wants to have it understood that he counts as the 
highest type of man, that he rules— even over those who wield 
power — that he is indispensable, unassailable — that he is the 
strongest power in the community, absolutely not to be replaced 
or undervalued, 

Means: 5 he alone possesses knowledge; he alone possesses 
virtue; he alone has sovereign lordship over himself; he alone is 
in a certain sense God and goes back to the divinity; he alone 
is the intermediary between God and other people; the divinity 
punishes every opposition to, every thought directed against a 
priest. 

Means: truth exists. There is only one way of attaining it: 
to become a priest. Everything good in society, in nature, in tra- 
dition, is to be traced back to the wisdom of the priests. The holy 
book is their work. The whole of nature is only a fulfillment of the 
dogmas contained in it. There is no other source of the good 
than the priests. Every other kind of excellence is of a different 
order from that of the priest; e.g., that of the warrior. 

Consequence: if the priest is to be the highest type, then the 
degrees which lead to his virtues must constitute the degrees of 
value among men. Study, emancipation from the senses, the non- 
active, the impassible, absence of affects, the solemn; antithesis: 
the lowest order of man. 

The priest has taught one kind of morality: in order that he 
shall be considered the highest type of man. He conceives an 
antithetical type: the chandala. To make these contemptible by 
every means provides a foil to the order of castes. — The priest’s 
extreme fear of sensuality is also conditioned by the insight that 
this is the most serious threat to the order of castes (that is, to 
order, in general)— Every “more liberal tendency” in puncto 
puncti throws the marriage laws overboard — 


* Mittel, i.e., means in the sense of instrument. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


89 


140 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The philosopher as a further development of the priestly 
type: — has the heritage of the priest in his blood; is compelled, 
even as rival, to struggle for the same ends with the same means 
as the priest of his time; he aspires to supreme authority. 

What gives authority when one does not have physical 
power in one’s hands (no army, no weapons of any kind — )? 
How, in fact, does one gain authority over those who possess 
physical strength and authority? (They compete with the awe 
inspired by princes, by the victorious conqueror, by the wise 
statesman). 

Only by arousing the belief that they have in their hands a 
higher, mightier strength — God. Nothing is sufficiently strong: 
the mediation and service of the priests is needed. They establish 
themselves as indispensable intermediaries: they need as condi- 
tions of their existence: (1) belief in the absolute superiority of 
their God, belief in their God; (2) that there is no other, no direct 
access to God. The second demand alone creates the concept 
“heterodoxy,” the first the concept “unbeliever” (i.e., one who 
believes in another God — ). 

141® ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Critique of the holy lie. — That the lie is permitted as a means 
to pious ends is part of the theory of every priesthood — to what 
extent it is part of their practice is the object of this inquiry. 

But philosophers too, as soon as, with priestly ulterior mo- 
tives, they form the intention of taking in hand the direction of 
mankind, at once also arrogate to themselves the right to tell lies: 
Plato before all. The most imposing is the twofold lie developed 
by the typically Aryan philosophers of the Vedanta: two systems 
contradictory in all their main features but for educational reasons 
alternating, supplementary and complementary. The lie of the one 
is intended to create a condition in which alone the truth of the 
other can become audible — 

How far does the pious lie of priests and philosophers go? — 
One must ask what presuppositions they require for the purpose 


'Sections 141-43 were utilized in the chapter on ‘The ‘Improvers’ of 
Mankind’’ in Twilight ( Portable Nietzsche ). 




90 


THE WILL TO POWER 


of education, what dogmas they have to invent to satisfy these 
presuppositions. 

First: they must have power, authority, unconditional credi- 
bility on their side. 

Secondly: they must have the whole course of nature in their 
hands, so that everything that affects the individual seems to be 
conditioned by their laws. 

Thirdly: they must also possess a more extensive domain of 
power whose control eludes the eyes of its subjects: power of 
punishment in the beyond, in the “after death” — and of course 
the means of discovering the way to bliss. 

— They have to set aside the concept of a natural course of 
events: but since they are clever and thoughtful people they are 
able to promise a host of effects, conditioned, of course, by prayers 
or the strict observance of their laws. — They can, moreover, 
prescribe a host of things that are absolutely reasonable — provided 
only that they do not point to experience or empiricism as the 
source of this wisdom, but to revelation or the consequence of 
“the sternest penances.” 

The holy lie therefore applies principally: to the purpose of 
an action ( — natural purpose, reason are made to vanish: a moral 
purpose, the fulfillment of a law, a service to God appears as 
purpose — ) : to the consequence of an action ( — natural conse- 
quence is interpreted as supernatural and, to produce a surer 
effect, the prospect of other, uncontrollable consequences is held 
out). 

In this way a concept of good and evil is created that seems 
to be altogether divorced from the natural concept “useful,” 
“harmful,” “life-promoting,” “life-retarding” — in so far as another 
life is imagined, it can even be directly inimical to the natural 
concept of good and evil. 

In this way the famous “conscience” is at last created: an 
inner voice which does not measure the value of every action with 
regard to its consequences, but with regard to its intention and 
the degree to which this intention conforms with the “laws.” 

The holy lie therefore invented ( 1 ) 7 a God who punishes and 
rewards, who strictly observes the law-book of the priests and is 
strict about sending them into the world as his mouthpieces and 
plenipotentiaries; (2) an afterlife in which the great punishment 


’ These numbers are not found in the MS. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 91 

machine is first thought to become effective — to this end the 
immortality of the soul; (3) conscience in man as the conscious- 
ness that good and evil are permanent — that God himself speaks 
through it when it advises conformity with priestly precepts; (4) 
morality as denial of all natural processes, as reduction of all 
events to a morally conditioned event, moral effects (i.e., the idea 
of punishment and reward) as effects permeating all things, as the 
sole power, as the creator of all transformation; (5) truth as given, 
as revealed, as identical with the teaching of the priests: as the 
condition for all salvation and happiness in this life and the next. 

In summa: what is the price of moral improvement? — Un- 
hinging of reason, reduction of all motives to fear and hope 
(punishment and reward); dependence upon a priestly guardian- 
ship, upon pedantic formalities which claim to express a divine 
wifi; the implanting of a “conscience” which sets a false knowing 
in place of testing and experiment: as if what should be done 
and what left undone had already been determined — a kind of 
castration of the seeking and forward-striving spirit; in summa: 
the worst mutilation of man that can be imagined presented as 
the “good man.” 

In practice, all the reason, the whole heritage of prudence, 
subtlety, caution which is the presupposition of the priestly canon, 
is afterwards arbitrarily reduced to a mere mechanism: conformity 
with the law itself counts as an end, as the highest end, life no 
longer has any problems; the whole conception of the world is 
polluted by the idea of punishment; with the object of representing 
the priestly life as the non plus ultra of perfection, life itself is 
transformed into a defamation and pollution of life; the concept 
“God” represents a turning away from life, a critique of life, even 
a contempt for it; truth is transformed into the priestly lie, the 
striving for truth into study of the scriptures, into a means of 
becoming a theologian — 

142 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Toward a critique of the law-book of Mam. — The whole 
book is founded on the holy lie. Was the well-being of mankind 
the inspiration of this system? Was this species of man, who 
believes in the interestedness of every action, interested or not in 
imposing this system? To improve mankind — how is this inten- 
tion inspired? Where is the concept of improvement derived from? 



92 


THE WILL TO POWER 


We find a species of man, the priestly, which feels itself to 
be the norm, the high point and the supreme expression of the 
type man: this species derives the concept “improvement” from 
itself. It believes in its own superiority, it wills itself to be superior 
in fact: the origin of the holy lie is the will to power — 

Establishment of rule: to this end, the rule of those concepts 
that place a non plus ultra of power with the priesthood. Power 
through the lie — in the knowledge that one does not possess it 
physically, militarily — the lie as a supplement to power, a new 
concept of “truth.” 

It is a mistake to suppose an unconscious and naive develop- 
ment here, a kind of self-deception — Fanatics do not invent such 
carefully thought-out systems of oppression — The most cold- 
blooded reflection was at work here; the same kind of reflection as 
a Plato applied when he imagined his “Republic,” “He who wills 
the end must will the means” — all lawgivers have been clear in 
their minds regarding this politician’s insight. 

We possess the classic model in specifically Aryan forms: 
we may therefore hold the best-endowed and most reflective species 
of man responsible for the most fundamental lie that has ever 
been told — That lie has been copied almost everywhere: Aryan 
influence has corrupted all the world — 8 

143 ( March-June 1888 ) 

A lot is said today about the Semitic spirit of the New Testa- 
ment: but what is called Semitic is merely priestly — and in the 
racially purest Aryan law-book, in Manu, this kind of “Semitism,” 
i.e., the spirit of the priest, is worse than anywhere else. 

The development of the Jewish priestly state is not original: 
they learned the pattern in Babylon: the pattern is Aryan. When, 
later on, the same thing became dominant in a Europe with a 
preponderance of Germanic blood, this was in accordance with 
the spirit of the ruling race: a great atavism. The Germanic Middle 
Ages aimed at a revival of the Aryan order of castes. 

Mohammedanism in turn learned from Christianity: the em- 
ployment of the “beyond” as an instrument of punishment. 

The pattern of an unchanging community with priests at its 
head — this oldest of the great cultural products of Asia in the 

* See footnote 6, especially section 4f. of the chapter cited there. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 93 

realm of organization — was bound to invite reflection and imita- 
tion in every respect. Again Plato: but above all the Egyptians. 

144 ( 1885 ) 

Moralities and religions are the principal means by which one 
can make whatever one wishes out of man, provided one possesses 
a superfluity of creative forces and can assert one’s will over long 
periods of time — in the form of legislation, religions, and customs . 9 

145 ( 1884 - 1888 ) 

What an affirmative Aryan religion, the product of the ruling 
class, looks like: the law-book of Manu. (The deification of the 
feeling of power in Brahma: interesting that it arose among the 
warrior caste and was only transferred to the priests.) 

What an affirmative Semitic religion, the product of a ruling 
class, looks like: the law-book of Mohammed, the older parts of 
the Old Testament. (Mohammedanism, as a religion for men, is 
deeply contemptuous of the sentimentality and mendaciousness of 
Christianity — which it feels to be a woman’s religion.) 

What a negative Semitic religion, the product of an oppressed 
class, looks like: the New Testament ( — in Indian- Aryan terms: 
a chandala religion). 

What a negative Aryan religion looks like, grown up among 
the ruling orders: Buddhism. 

It is quite in order that we possess no religion of oppressed 
Aryan races, for that is a contradiction: a master race is either on 
top or it is destroyed . 10 


146 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

In itself, religion has nothing to do with morality: but both 
descendants of the Jewish religion are essentially moralistic re- 


'The final clause is found only in 1911, p. 501. 

10 Yet it was above all the ‘‘Aryans” who accepted Christianity, while 
most of the Jews did not. 

This section must be taken in the context of the immediately preceding 
sections and should be compared with the chapters on ‘The 'Improvers’ of 
Mankind” in Twilight (p. 501, Portable Nietzsche), and with The Antichrist 
(p. 565, Portable Nietzsche ), both of which were written later. 

See also my preface to The Antichrist in The Portable Nietzsche and 
Chapter 10, ‘The Master-Race,” and Chapter 7, section III, in my Nietzsche. 




94 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ligions — such as offer precepts about how one ought to live, and 
create a hearing for their demands by rewards and punishments. 

147 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Pagan-Christian. The affirmation of the natural, the sense of 
innocence in the natural, “naturalness,” is pagan. The denial of 
the natural, the sense of degradation in the natural, unnaturalness, 
is Christian. 

Petronius, e.g., was “innocent”: compared with this happy 
man, a Christian is absolutely without innocence. But since 
ultimately the Christian status must be merely a natural condition 
— which, however, dares not conceive itself to be such — “Chris- 
tian” signifies raising to a principle the counterfeiting of psy- 
chological interpretations — 

148 ( 1883-1886 ) 

The Christian priest is from the first a mortal enemy of sen- 
suality: no greather antithesis can be imagined than the innocently 
awed and solemn attitude adopted by, e.g., the most honorable 
women’s cults of Athens in the presence of the symbols of sex. 
The act of procreation is the mystery as such in all nonascetic re- 
ligions: a sort of symbol of perfection and of the mysterious design 
of the future: rebirth, immortality. 

149 ( 1880-1881 ) 

Belief in ourselves is the strongest fetter and the supreme 
whipping-on — and the strongest wing. Christianity should have 
made the innocence of man an article of faith — men would have 
become gods: belief was still possible in those days. 11 

150 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The great lie in history: as if it was the corruption of pagan- 
ism which opened the road to Christianity! It was, on the con- 

“ Karl Schlechta omits this section in his edition because he considers 
the source ( Werke , XI, 310) “problematical": unlike almost all of the other 
sections in The Will to Power , this section is not supported by a reference 
to Nietzsche’s notebooks. And the date is much earlier. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 95 

trary, the weakening and moralization of the man of antiquity! 
Natural drives had already been reinterpreted as vices! 12 

151 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Religions are destroyed by belief in morality. The Christian 
moral God is not tenable: hence “atheism” — as if there could be 
no other kinds of god. 

Similarly, culture is destroyed by belief in morality. For 
when one discovers the necessary conditions out of which alone 
it can grow, one no longer wants it (Buddhism). 


152 ( March-June 1888) 

Physiology of the nihilistic religions. Each and every nihilistic 
religion: a systematized case history of sickness employing re- 
ligious-moralistic nomenclature. 

With pagan cults, it is around the interpretations of the great 
annual cycles that the cult revolves. With the Christian cult, it is 
around a cycle of paralytic phenomena that the cult revolves — 

153 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

This nihilistic religion gathers together those decadence ele- 
ments and the like that it finds in antiquity; namely: 

a. the party of the weak and ill-constituted (the refuse of the 
antique world: that which it thrust out most forcefully); 

b. the party of the morally-obsessed and antipagan; 

c. the party of the politically weary and the indifferent (blase 
Romans), those without a country for whom life was emptiness; 

d. the party of those who were tired of themselves — who 
were glad to participate in a subterranean conspiracy — 


154 (March-June 1888 ) 

Buddha against the " Crucified .” Among the nihilistic religions, 
one may always clearly distinguish the Christian from the Buddhist. 
The Buddhist religion is the expression of a fine evening, a perfect 


“In the MS this section is followed immediately by section 381, and 
both together are entitled “Great lies in history.” 



96 


THE WILL TO POWER 


sweetness and mildness — it is gratitude toward all that lies behind, 
and also for what is lacking: bitterness, disillusionment, ran- 
cor; finally, a lofty spiritual love; the subtleties of philosophical 
contradiction are behind it, even from these it is resting: but from 
these it still derives its spiritual glory and sunset glow. ( — Origin 
in the highest castes—) 

The Christian movement is a degeneracy movement com- 
posed of reject and refuse elements of every kind: it is not the 
expression of the decline of a race, it is from the first an agglomera- 
tion of forms of morbidity crowding together and seeking one 
another out — It is therefore not national, not racially conditioned; 
it appeals to the disinherited everywhere; it is founded on a rancor 
against everything well-constituted and dominant: it needs a symbol 
that represents a curse on the well-constituted and dominant — It 
also stands in opposition to every spiritual movement, to all 
philosophy: it takes the side of idiots 18 and utters a curse on the 
spirit. Rancor against the gifted, learned, spiritually independent: 
it detects in them the well-constituted, the masterful. 

155 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

In Buddhism this thought predominates: “All desires, all 
that produces affects and blood, draw one toward actions” — only 
to this extent is one warned against evil. For action — has no mean- 
ing, action binds one to existence: but all existence has no meaning. 
They see in evil a drive toward something illogical: to the affirma- 
tion of means to an end one denies. They seek a way of non- 
existence and therefore they regard with horror all affective drives. 
E.g., take no revenge! be no one’s enemy! — The hedonism of the 
weary is here the supreme measure of value. Nothing is further 
from Buddhism than the Jewish fanaticism of a Paul: nothing 
would be more repellent to its instincts than this tension, fire, un- 
rest of the religious man, above all that form of sensuality that 
Christianity has sanctified with the name “love,” Moreover, it is 
the cultured and even the overspirited orders that find satisfaction 
in Buddhism: a race satiated and wearied by centuries of philo- 
sophical contentions, not, however, beneath all culture, like the 
classes from which Christianity arose — Emancipation even from 
good and evil appears to be of the essence of the Buddhist ideal: 

" Cf. my footnote to section 29 of The Antichrist ( Portable Nietzsche, 

p. 601). 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 97 

a refined state beyond morality is conceived that is identical with 
the state of perfection, in the presupposition that one needs to 
perform even good actions only for the time being, merely as a 
means — namely, as a means to emancipation from all actions. 

156 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

A nihilistic religion [like Christianity], 14 sprung from and 
appropriate to a people grown old and tame, having outlived all 
strong instincts — transferred step by step to another milieu, at 
length entering into youthful peoples which have not yet lived at 
all — very curious! The bliss of the close, the fold, the evening 
preached to barbarians and Germans! How thoroughly all that 
I first had to be barbarized, Germanized! To those who had 
dreamed a Valhalla: who found happiness only in war! — A su- 
pramational religion preached in a chaos where no nations even 
existed yet — 


157 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

The only way to refute priests and religions is this: to show 
that their errors have ceased to be beneficial— that they rather do 
harm; in short, that their own “proof of power” no longer holds 
good — 


2. History of Christianity 15 

158 (1888) 

One should not confuse Christianity as a historical reality 
with that one root that its name calls to mind: the other roots from 
which it has grown up have been far more powerful. It is an 


"The words I have placed in brackets are not found in the MS and 
were added by the German editors in 1906. Although this was expressly 
admitted in 1911, p, 501, Schlechta, who boasts of being faithful to the 
MSS, follows the standard editions, as usual. The editorial emendation 
could be improved by omitting the bracketed words and placing at the 
beginning of the section: “Christianity:. . . 

"Most of the sections that follow were utilized in The Antichrist 
(Portable Nietzsche). 




98 


THE WILL TO POWER 


unexampled misuse of words when such manifestations of decay 
and abortions as “Christian church,” “Christian faith” and “Chris- 
tian life” label themselves with that holy name. What did Christ 
deny? Everything that is today called Christian. 

159 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The entire Christian teaching as to what shall be believed, 
the entire Christian “truth,” is idle falsehood and deception: and 
precisely the opposite of what inspired the Christian movement in 
the beginning. 

Precisely that which is Christian in the ecclesiastical sense is 
anti-Christian in essence: things and people instead of symbols; 
history instead of eternal facts; forms, rites, dogmas instead of a 
way of life. Utter indifference to dogmas, cults, priests, church, 
theology is Christian. 

The Christian way of life is no more a fantasy than the Bud- 
dhist way of life: it is a means to being happy. 

160 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Jesus starts directly with the condition the “Kingdom of 
Heaven” in the heart, and he does not find the means to it in 
the observances of the Jewish church; the reality of Judaism itself 
(its need to preserve itself) he regards as nothing; he is purely 
inward. — 

He likewise ignores the entire system of crude formalities 
governing intercourse with God: he opposes the whole teaching of 
repentance and atonement; he demonstrates how one must live in 
order to feel “deified” — and how one will not achieve it through 
repentance and contrition for one’s sins: “Sin is of no account” 
is his central judgment. 

Sin, repentance, forgiveness — none of this belongs here — it is 
acquired from Judaism, or it is pagan. 

161 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)™ 

The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart ( — it is 
said of children “for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”) : Not some- 


”In the MS under a general heading: “Christian misunderstandings.” 




BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 99 

thing “above the earth." The Kingdom of God does not “come” 
chronologically-historically, on a certain day in the calendar, some- 
thing that might be here one day but not the day before: it is an 
“inward change in the individual,” something that comes at every 
moment and at every moment has not yet arrived — 

162 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The thief on the Cross: — When even the criminal undergoing 
a painful death declares: “the way this Jesus suffers and dies, with- 
out rebelling, without enmity, graciously, resignedly, is the only 
right way,” he has affirmed the gospel: and with that he is in Para- 
dise — 


163 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888) 

Neither by deeds nor in your heart should you resist him who 
harms you. 

You should admit of no ground for divorcing your wife. 

You should make no distinction between strangers and 
neighbors, foreigners and fellow countrymen. 

You should be angry with no one, you should show contempt 
to no one. Give alms in secret. You should not want to become 
rich. You should not swear. You should not judge. You should 
be reconciled with foes; you should forgive. Do not pray publicly. 

“Bliss” is not something promised: it is there if you live and 
act in such and such a way. 17 

164 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888) 

The entire prophet and miracle-worker attitude, the anger, 
the calling down of judgment is a dreadful corruption (e.g., Mark 
6, 11. And whosoever shall not receive you . . . verily I say unto 
you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha, etc.). 
The “fig tree” (Matt. 21, 18): Now in the morning as he re- 


s 'The German editors added “Jesus commands” at the beginning of 
this section. They also omitted the third paragraph in the MS: “Perhaps 
also: one should castrate oneself.” And the penultimate paragraph: "Let 
only good men be seen, let your light shine: who will enter heaven? who- 
ever does the will of my father in heaven." 

Schlechta, of course, reproduces the text of the standard editions, 
ignoring 1911, p, 501. 



100 


THE WILL TO POWER 


turned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree 
in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves 
only, and said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward 
forever.” And presently the fig tree withered away. 18 

165 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

In a quite absurd way, the doctrine of reward and punish- 
ment has been crowded in: everything has thereby been ruined. 

In the same way, the practice of the first ecclesia militans , 19 
of the apostle [Paul] 20 and his attitude, has been represented in 
a quite falsifying way as commanded, as predetermined . 

The subsequent glorification of the actual life and teaching 
of the first Christians: as if it had all been prescribed and the 
prescription merely followed — 

And as for the fulfillment of prophesies: what a mass of 
falsification and forgery! 

166 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

Jesus opposed the commonplace life with a real life, a life 
in truth: nothing was further from him than the stupid nonsense 
of an “eternalized Peter,” an eternal personal survival. What he 
fights against is this exaggerated inflation of the “person”: how 
can he desire to eternize precisely that! 

In the same way he fights against hierarchy within the com- 
munity: he does not promise that reward shall be proportionate 
to performance: how can he have meant punishment and reward 
in the beyond! 


167 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Christianity: a naive beginning to a Buddhistic peace move- 
ment in the very seat of ressentiment — but reversed by Paul into 
a pagan mystery doctrine, which finally learns to treat with the 
entire state organization — and wages war, condemns, tortures, 
swears, hates. 

“The MS continues: "And when the disciples saw this they were 
astonished and said: How did the fig tree wither so soon?" 191 1, p. 502. 

“ Militant church. 

" The name 1 have placed in brackets was added by the German editors, 
perhaps mistakenly: Peter may have been meant. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 101 

Paul starts from the need for a mystery felt by the broad, 
religiously excited masses: he seeks a sacrifice, a bloody phantas- 
magoria which will stand up in competition with the images of 
the mystery cults: God on the cross, blood-drinking, the unio 
mystica with the “sacrifice.” 

He seeks to bring the afterlife (the blissful, atoned afterlife 
of the individual soul) as resurrection into a causal relationship 
with that sacrifice (after the type of Dionysus, Mithras, Osiris). 

He needs to bring the concept guilt and atonement into the 
foreground, not a new way of life (as Jesus himself had demon- 
strated and lived) but a new cult, a new faith, a faith in a 
miraculous transformation (“redemption” through faith). 

He understood what the pagan world had the greatest need 
of, and from the facts of Christ’s life and death made a quite 
arbitrary selection, giving everything a new accentuation, shifting 
the emphasis everywhere — he annulled primitive Christianity as 
a matter or principle — 

The attempt to destroy priests and theologians culminated, 
thanks to Paul, in a new priesthood and theology — in a new ruling 
order and a church. 

The attempt to destroy the exaggerated inflation of the 
“person” culminated in faith in the “eternal person” (in concern 
for “eternal salvation” — ), in the most paradoxical excess of 
personal egoism. 

This is the humor of the situation, a tragic humor: Paul re- 
erected on a grand scale precisely that which Christ had annulled 
through his way of living. At last, when the church was complete, 
it sanctioned even the existence of the state. 

168 ( Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

— The church is precisely that against which Jesus preached — 
and against which he taught his disciples to fight — 

169 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A god who died for our sins: redemption through faith; 
resurrection after death — all these are counterfeits of true Chris- 
tianity for which that disastrous wrong-headed fellow [Paul] 21 
must be held responsible. 


” German editors’ emendation. 


102 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The exemplary life consists of love and humility; in a fullness 
of heart that does not exclude even the lowliest; in a formal re- 
pudiation of maintaining one’s rights, of self-defense, of victory in 
the sense of personal triumph; in faith in blessedness here on earth, 
in spite of distress, opposition and death; in reconciliation; in the 
absence of anger; not wanting to be rewarded; not being obliged 
to anyone; the completest spiritual-intellectual independence; a 
very proud life beneath the will to a life of poverty and service. 

After the church had let itself be deprived of the entire Chris- 
tian way of life and had quite specifically sanctioned life under 
the state, that form of life that Jesus had combatted and con- 
demned, it had to find the meaning of Christianity in something 
else: in faith in unbelievable things, in the ceremonial of prayers, 
worship, feasts, etc. The concept “sin,” “forgiveness,” "reward” 
— all quite unimportant and virtually excluded from primitive 
Christianity — now comes into the foreground. 

An appalling mishmash of Greek philosophy and Judaism; 
asceticism; continual judging and condemning; order of rank, etc. 

170 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Christianity has from the outset transformed the symbolic 
into crudities: 

1. the antithesis “real life” and “false” life: misunderstood 
as “this life” and “the life to come”; 

2. the concept “eternal life,” the antithesis to transient 
personal life, as “personal immortality”; 

3. brotherhood on the basis of sharing food and drink to- 
gether after the Hebrew-Arabic custom, as “the miracle of tran- 
substantiation”; 

4. “resurrection — ” understood as entry into “real life,” as 
a state of “rebirth”; this is made into an historical eventuality 
which takes place some time or other after death; 

5. the teaching that the son of man is the “Son of God,” the 
living relationship between God and man; this is made into the 
“second person of the divinity” — the filial relationship to God of 
every man, even the lowliest, is abolished; 

6. salvation through faith (namely, that there is no means 
of becoming a son of God except by following the way of life 
taught by Christ) reversed into the faith that one is to believe 
in some sort of miraculous subtraction of sins, accomplished not 



book TWO: Critique of Highest Values 103 

through man but through Christ’s deed: 

With that, “Christ on the cross” had to be interpreted anew. 
This death in itself was not at all the main thing — it had been 
only one more sign of how one ought to behave in relation to the 
authorities and laws of this world: not to defend oneself — That 
had been the lesson. 


171 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Toward a psychology of Paul.—- The given fact is the death 
of Jesus. This has to be explained — That an explanation may be 
true or false has never entered the minds of such people as these: 
one day a sublime possibility comes into their heads: “this death 
could mean such and such” — and at once it does mean such and 
such! A hypothesis is proved true by the sublime impetus it 
imparts to its originator — 

“The proof of power”: i.e., an idea is proved true by its 
effect — (“by their fruits” as the Bible naively says); what inspires 
must be true — that for which one sheds one’s blood must be true — 

Here, the sudden feeling of power that an idea arouses in its 
originator is everywhere accounted proof of its value: — and since 
one knows no way of honoring an idea other than by calling it true, 
the first predicate with which it is honored is the predicate “true” — • 
How otherwise could it be so effective? It was imagined by some 
power: if that power were not real, it could not be effective — 
The idea is understood to have been inspired: the effect that it 
exercises possesses something of the violence of a demonic in- 
fluence — 

An idea that such a decadent is unable to resist, to which he 
completely succumbs, is thus “proved” true! ! 1 

None of these holy epileptics and seers of visions possessed 
a thousandth part of that integrity in self-criticism with which a 
philologist today reads a text or proves the troth of an historical 
event — Compared with us, they are moral cretins — 22 

172 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

That it does not matter whether a thing is true, but only what 


" Some of the formulations in this section seem better than any of the 
parallel passages in Nietzsche’s works. 



104 


THE WILL TO POWER 


effect it produces — absolute lack of intellectual integrity. Every- 
thing is justified, lies, slander, the most shameless forgery, if it 
serves to raise the temperature — until one “believes” — 

A systematic school of the means to seduction to a faith: 
contempt, on principle, for the spheres from which contradiction 
might come ( — the spheres of reason, philosophy and wisdom, 
mistrust, caution); a shameless praising and glorification of the 
doctrine, with constant reference to the fact that it was God who 
gave it — that the apostle signifies nothing — that nothing here is to 
be criticized, but only believed, accepted; that it is the most extra- 
ordinary grace and favor to receive such a doctrine of redemption; 
that the deepest gratitude and humility is the condition in which 
to receive it — 

The ressentiment which these lowly-placed persons feel toward 
everything held in honor is constantly gambled upon: that one 
represents this doctrine as a counterdoctrine in opposition to the 
wisdom of the world, to the power of the world, seduces them to 
it. It convinces the outcast and underprivileged of all kinds; it 
promises blessedness, advantage, privilege to the most insignificant 
and humble; it fills poor little foolish heads with an insane conceit, 
as if they were the meaning and the salt of the earth— 

All this, I repeat, one cannot sufficiently despise. We shall 
spare ourselves a critique of the doctrine; it suffices to observe the 
means it uses to know what it is one is dealing with. It identified 
with virtue, it shamelessly claimed for itself alone the whole fascinat- 
ing force of virtue — it identified with the power of paradox and 
with the need felt by old civilizations for spice and absurdity; it 
amazed, it enraged, it provoked persecution and mistreatment — 
It is precisely the same well-pondered baseness with which 
the Jewish priesthood established its power and the Jewish church 
was created — 

One should distinguish: ( 1 ) that warmth of the passion “love” 
(resting on the subterranean basis of a heated sensuality); (2) the 
absolute ignobility of Christianity: — the continual exaggeration, 
the verbosity; — the lack of cool spirituality and irony; — the un- 
military nature of all its instincts; — the priestly prejudice against 
manly pride, against sensuality, the sciences, the arts. 23 

” In this section the German editors omitted one sentence — and 
Schlechta, as usual, followed them. 

See the Appendix, below. 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 


105 


173 {Summer-Fall 1888) 

Paul: he seeks power in opposition to ruling Judaism — his 
movement is too weak- — Revaluation of the concept “Jew”: the 
“race” is set aside — : but that means negating what is fundamental. 
The “martyr/’ the “fanatic,” the value of all strong faith— 

Christianity is the decadent form of the old world sunk into 
deepest impotence, So that the sickest and unhealthiest elements 
and desires come to the top. 

Consequently, in order to create a unity, a resisting power, 
other instincts had to step into the foreground — in short, a kind 
of calamity was needed such as that from which the Jews had 
acquired their instinct for Self-preservation- 

In this regard, the persecutions of the Christians were in- 
valuable — a sense of community in danger, mass-conversion as 
the only means of putting an end to individual persecution (—con- 
sequently he takes as lightly as possible the concept “conver- 
sion”—). 

174 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

The Christian-Jewish life: here ressentiment did not pre- 
dominate. Only the great persecutions could have developed this 
passion to this extent — the ardor of love as well as that of hatred. 

When one sees one’s dearest sacrificed for one’s faith, one 
becomes aggressive; we owe the triumph of Christianity to its per- 
secutors. 

The asceticism in Christianity is not specifically Christian: 
this is what Schopenhauer misunderstood: it only makes inroads 
into Christianity wherever asceticism also exists apart from Chris- 
tianity. 

Hypochondriac Christianity, the torturing and vivisection of 
the conscience, is in the same way orily characteristic of a certain 
soil in which Christian values have taken root: it is not Chris- 
tianity itself. Christianity has absorbed diseases of all kinds from 
morbid soil: one can only reproach it for its inability to guard 
against any infection. But that precisely is its essence: Christianity 
is a type of decadence. 



106 


THE WILL TO POWER 


175 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

The reality upon which Christianity could be raised was the 
little Jewish family of the Diaspora, with its warmth and affection, 
with its readiness to help and sustain one another— unheard-of 
and perhaps not understood in the whole Roman Empire — with its 
concealed pride of the “chosen” disguised as humility, with its 
innermost denial, untouched by envy, of all that is on top and 
possesses power and splendor. To have recognized in this a form 
of power, to have recognized that this blissful condition was com- 
municable, seductive, infectious to pagans also— that was Paul’s 
genius: to employ this store of latent energy, of prudent happiness 
for a “Jewish church of freer confession” — the entire Jewish ex- 
perience and mastery of communal self-preservation under foreign 
rule, also Jewish propaganda— he divined that as his task. What 
he lit upon was just this absolutely unpolitical and withdrawn 
species of little people: then art of asserting themselves and pre- 
vailing, cultivated through a number of virtues which constituted 
virtue in its entirety (“means by which a particular species of man 
preserves and enhances himself”). 

The principle of /ove derives from the little Jewish communi- 
ties: it is a soul of the more passionate kind that glows here under 
the ashes of humility arid wretchedness: this was neither Greek, 
nor Indian, nor Germanic. The song in praise of love that Paul 
composed 24 is nothing Christian, but a Jewish outburst of the 
eternal flame that is Semitic. If Christianity has done anything es- 
sential psychologically, it is that it raised the temperature of the 
soul among those cooler and nobler races that were then on top; 
it was the discovery that the most wretched life can become rich 
and inestimable through a rise in temperature— 

It goes without saying that such a transference could not take 
place in respect to the ruling orders: the Jews and Christians had 
their bad manners against them — and when allied to bad manners, 
strength and passion of soul are repellent and almost disgusting 
( — I see these bad manners whenever I read the New Testament) . 

“I Corinthians 13. The point Nietzsche makes here was utterly revo- 
lutionary at that time and constitutes a major contribution to our under- 
standing of Judaism and Christianity, even if the form of expression here 
is deliberately hyperbolical and paradoxical. For further discussion, see my 
Nietzsche, Chapter 12, section II. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 107 

One had to be related through lowliness and want to the type of 
lowly people who spoke here to feel their attraction— 

How one reacts to the New Testament is a test of whether 
one has any classical taste in one’s bones (cf. Tacitus); whoever 
is not revolted by it, whoever does not honestly and profoundly 
sense something of foeda superstition in it, something from which 
one withdraws one’s hand as if to avoid being soiled, does not 
know what is classical. One must feel about the “cross” as Goethe 
did 2 *— 


176 ( M arch-June 1888 ) 

Reaction of the little people:-— Love gives the greatest feeling 
of power. To grasp to what extent not man in general but a certain 
species of man speaks here. This is to be exhumed more precisely . 27 

“We are divine through love, we become ‘children of God’; 
God loves us and wants nothing whatever from us save love”; this 
means: no morality, obedience, or activity produces that feeling of 
power that love produces; one does nothing bad from love, one 
does much more than one would do from obedience and virtue. 

Here is the happiness of the herd, the feeling of community 
in great and small things, the living feeling of unity experienced as 
the sum of the feeling of life. Being helpful and useful and caring 
for others continually arouses the feeling of power; visible success, 
the expression of pleasure underlines the feeling of power; pride is 
not lacking, in the form of community, the abode of God, the 
“chosen.” 

What has in fact happened is that man has again experienced 
an alteration of personality: this time he calls his feeling of love 
God. One must picture to oneself what the awakening of such a 
feeling is like: a kind of ecstasy, a strange language, a “gospel” — 
it was this novelty that forbade him to ascribe love to himself — : 
he thought God was walking before him and coming alive within 
him. — “God descends to man,” one’s “neighbor” is transfigured 
into a god (in so far as he arouses the feeling of love). Jesus is 


" “Abominable superstition." 

” An allusion to Goethe’s Venetian Epigrams ( 1790) : the original text 
and a verse translation will be found in Twenty German Poets, ed. and tr. 
Walter Kaufmann (New York: Modem Library, 1963), pp. 32 /. 

31 This sentence is omitted in the standard editions. 


108 THE WILL TO POWER 

one’s neighbor as soon as he is conceived as godhead, as a cause 
of the feeling of power. 

177 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

The faithful are conscious that they are endlessly indebted to 
Christianity, and therefore conclude that its originator is a person- 
age of the first rank — This conclusion is false, but it is typical of 
conclusions drawn by worshipers. Objectively considered, it is pos- 
sible, first, that they are in error about the value of that for which 
they are indebted to Christianity: convictions prove nothing in 
favor of that of which one is convinced; in the case of religions 
they establish rather a suspicion against it — It is possible, secondly, 
that the debt to Christianity ought not to be ascribed to its founder 
but to the finished structure, to the whole thing, the church, etc. 
The concept “originator” is so ambiguous it can even mean the 
accidental cause of a movement: the figure of the founder has been 
enlarged in proportion as the church has grown; but precisely this 
perspective of worship permits the conclusion that at some time or 
other this founder was something very uncertain mid insecure, in 
the beginning — - Consider with what degree of freedom Paul treats, 
indeed almost juggles with, the problem of the person of Jesus: 
someone who died, who was seen again after his death, who was 
delivered over to death by the Jews— A mere “motif”: he then 
wrote the music to it — A zero in the beginning. 28 

178 (1884) 

The founder of a religion can be insignificant — a match, no 
more! 


179 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

On the psychological problem of Christianity . — The driving 
force is: ressentiment, the popular uprising, the revolt of the under- 
privileged. (It is otherwise with Buddhism: this is not born out of 
a ressentiment movement but fights ressentiment because it leads 
to action.) 

This peace party grasps that the renunciation of enmity in 
thought and deed is a condition of distinction and preservation. 


“The final phrase is omitted in the standard editions. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 109 

Herein lies the psychological difficulty that has hampered the under- 
standing of Christianity: the drive that created it forces one to 
fight against it as a matter of principle. 

Only as a peace and innocence party has this insurrectionary 
movement any possibility of success: it must conquer through ex- 
treme mildness, sweetness, softness; it grasps this by instinct — 
Masterstroke: to deny and condemn the drive whose expression 
one is, continually to display, by word and deed, the antithesis of 
this drive— 


180 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

Pretended youth. One is deceiving oneself if one imagines 
here a naive and youthful people rising up against an ancient cul- 
ture; superstition has it that the deeper springs of life gushed forth 
anew in those classes of the lowliest people where Christianity grew 
attd took root: one understands nothing of the psychology of Chris- 
tianity if one takes it to be the expression of a newly arisen na- 
tional youthfulness and racial invigoration. On the contrary: it is 
a typical form of decadence, the moral hypersensitivity and hysteria 
of a sick mishmash populace grown weary and aimless. The ex- 
traordinary company that here gathered around this master-seducer 
really belongs wholly in a Russian novel: all the neuroses keep a 
rendezvous in them — the absence of duties, the instinct that every- 
thing is really coming to an end, that nothing is worth while any 
more, contentment in a dolce jar niente. 29 

The power and certainty of the future in the Jewish instinct, 
its tremendously tough will to exist and to power, lies in its ruling 
classes: those orders which primitive Christianity raised up are 
most clearly distinguished by the exhaustion of their instincts. On 
one hand, One has had enough: on the other, one is content with 
oneself, in oneself, for oneself. 


181 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Christianity as emancipated Judaism (in the same way as a 
local and racially conditioned nobility at length emancipates itself 
from these conditions and goes in search of related elements — ) 


"Sweet doing-nothing. The sentence was utilized and elaborated in 
The Antichrist, section 31 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 602-604). 




110 


THE WILL TO POWER 


1. As church (community) within the state, as an unpolitical 
structure; 

2. As life, discipline, practice, art of living; 

3. As religion of sin (of transgression against God as the only 
kind of transgression, as the sole cause of suffering in general), 
with a universal cure for it. There are only sins against God; men 
shall not judge acts done against men, nor demand a reckoning, 
except in the name of God. Ditto, all commands (love) : every- 
thing is associated with God and done to man for God’s sake. A 
higher prudence lies in this ( — a very narrow life, as with the 
Eskimos, is endurable only by the most peaceable and cautious 
disposition: Jewish-Christian dogma turns against sin in favor of 
the ‘'sinner”— ). 


182 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The Jewish priesthood had understood how to present every- 
thing which it claimed as a divine precept, as obedience to a com- 
mand of God — also how to introduce whatever served to preserve 
Israel and make possible its existence (e.g., a number of works: 
circumcision, sacrificial cult as the center of national conscious- 
ness) not as nature, but as “God.” — This process continued; 
within Judaism, where the necessity for “works” was not felt (that 
is to say, as a means of segregation from the outside world), a 
priestly species of man could be conceived that behaved as the 
“noble nature” behaves toward the aristocracy; a classless and at 
the same time spontaneous priestliness of soul, which now, in order 
to contrast itself sharply with its opposite, attached value not to 
“works,” but to the “disposition” — 

Fundamentally it was again the question of making a certain 
species of soul prevail: as it were, a popular uprising within a 
priestly people — a pietistic movement from below (sinners, publi- 
cans, women, the sick). Jesus of Nazareth was the sign by which 
they recognized themselves. And again, in order to believe in them- 
selves they need a theological transfiguration: they require nothing 
less than “the Son of God” to create a faith for themselves — And 
just as the priesthood had falsified the entire history of Israel, so 
again the attempt was here made to forge the history of mankind 
in general, so that Christianity might appear to be its most cardinal 
event. This movement could have arisen only on the soil of Juda- 
ism, whose principal deed was to associate guilt with misfortune 



book two : Critique of Highest Values 111 

and to reduce all guilt to guilt against God: Christianity raised all 
this to the second power. 

183 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The symbolism of Christianity is based on the Jewish, which 
had already resolved all reality (history, nature) into a holy un- 
naturalness and unreality — which no longer recognized real history, 
which was no longer interested in natural consequences — 

184 (March-June 1888 ) 

The Jews tried to prevail after they had lost two of their 
castes, that of the warrior and that of the peasant; in this sense 
they are the “castrated”: they have the priests — and then immedi- 
ately the chandala — 

As is only fair, a break develops among them, a revolt of 
the chandala: the origin of Christianity. 

Because they knew the warrior only as their master, they 
brought into their religion enmity toward the noble, toward the 
exalted and proud, toward power, toward the ruling orders — : 
they are pessimists from indignation — 

Thus they created an important new posture: the priest at 
the head of the chandala — against the noble orders — 

Christianity drew the ultimate conclusion of this movement: 
even in the Jewish priesthood it still sensed caste, the privileged, the 
noble — it abolished the priest— 

The Christian is the chandala who repudiates the priest — the 
chandala who redeems himself — 

That is why the French Revolution is the daughter and con- 
tinuation of Christianity— its instincts are against caste, against the 
noble, against the last privileges 

185 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The “Christian ideal”: staged with Jewish subdety. The basic 
psychological drives, its “nature”: 

the revolt against the ruling spiritual power; 
attempt to make the virtues through which happiness is pos- 
sible for the lowliest into the standard ideal of all values — to call 
it God: the instinct for preservation in the least vital classes; 



112 THE WILL TO POWER 

to justify absolute abstention from war and resistance through 
this ideal — including obedience; 

love of one another as consequence of love of God. 

Artifice: to deny all natural mobilia and to transfer them to 
the spiritual realm beyond — to exploit virtue and its veneration 
entirely for one’s own ends, step by step to deny virtue to every- 
thing non-Christian. 


186 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The profound contempt with which the Christian was treated 
in the noble areas of classical antiquity is of a kind with the present 
instinctive aversion to Jews: it is the hatred of the free and self- 
respecting orders for those who are pushing and who combine 
timid and awkward gestures with an absurd opinion of their worth. 

The New Testament is the gospel of a wholly ignoble species 
of man; their claim to possess more value, indeed to possess all 
value, actually has something revolting about it— -even today. 

187 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

How little the subject matters! It is the spirit that gives life! 
What stuffy and sickroom air arises from all that excited chatter 
about “redemption,” love, blessedness, faith, truth, “eternal life”! 
Take, on the other hand, a really pagan book, e.g., Petronius, 
where fundamentally nothing is done, said, desired and valued but 
what by peevish Christian standards is sin, mortal sin even. And 
yet how pleasant is the purer air, the superior spirituality of its 
quicker pace, the liberated and overflowing strength that feels sure 
of the future! In the entire New Testament there is not one single 
bouffonnerie: but that fact refutes a book — 

188 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The profound unworthiness with which all life outside the 
Christian life is condemned: they are not content with thinking 
meanly of their real opponents, they require nothing less than a 
collective defamation of everything which is not themselves^ — Arro- 
gance of holiness gets along famously with a base and crafty soul: 
witness the first Christians. 

The future; they see they are well paid — Theirs is the most 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 113 

uncleanly kind of spirit there is. The entire life of Christ is so 
presented as to help to justify the prophecies: he acts in this way 
in order that they may be justified — 

189 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The lying interpretation of the words, gestures and conditions 
of the dying: fear of death; for example, is systematically confused 
with fear of the “after death” — 30 


190 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The Christians did as the Jews did and put into the mouth of 
their master and encrusted his life with what they conceived to be 
a condition of their existence and an innovation. At the same time 
they restored to him all proverbial wisdom — : in short, they repre- 
sented their actual life and activity as obedience and thus, as sancti- 
fied for their propaganda. 

What it all depends upon can be gathered from Paul: it is 
not much; What remains is the elaboration of a type of saint on 
the basis of what they considered holy. 

The entire “miraculous doctrine,” including the resurrection, 
is a consequence of self-glorification by the community, which 
ascribed to its master in a higher degree whatever it thought itself 
capable of (it derived its strength from him--). 


191 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Christians have never put into practice the acts Jesus pre- 
scribed for them, and the impudent chatter about “justification by 
faith” and its unique and supreme significance is only the conse- 
quence of the church’s lack of courage and will to confess the 
works which Jesus demanded. 

The Buddhist acts differently from the non-Buddhist; the 
Christian acts as all the world does and possesses a Christianity of 
ceremonies and moods. 

The profound and contemptible mendaciousness of Christi- 
anity in Europe—: we really are becoming the contempt of the 
Arabs, Hindus, Chinese — Listen to the speeches of Germany’s 

80 This confusion is still rahipant, even among philosophers and psychol- 
ogists. 




114 


THE WILL TO POWER 


first statesman on what has really occupied Europe for forty years 
now— listen to the language, the court-chaplain Tartuffery. 


192 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

"Faith" or "works ”? — But that “works,” the habit of certain 
works, should engender a certain evaluation and finally a certain 
disposition is as natural as it is unnatural that mere evaluation 
should produce “works.” One must practice deeds, not the strength- 
ening of one’s value-feelings; one must first have some ability ■ — 
The Christian dilettantism of Luther. Faith is a pons asinorum . al 
The background is a profound conviction on the part of Luther 
and his kind of their incapacity for Christian works, a personal 
fact disguised beneath an extreme doubt as to whether activity of 
all kinds is not sin and the work of the Devil: so that the value 
of existence resides in single highly tensed conditions of inactivity 
(prayer, effusion, etc.). — In the last resort he was right: the in- 
stincts expressed in all the actions of the Reformers are the most 
brutal that exist. Only by an absolute turning away from them- 
selves, by absorption in their opposite, only as an illusion (“faith”) 
was existence endurable to them. 

193 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

“What to do in order to believe?” — an absurd question. What 
is wrong with Christianity is that it refrains from doing all those 
things that Christ commanded should be done. 

It is the mean life, but interpreted through the eye of contempt. 

194 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888) 

Entry into real life — one rescues one’s personal life from death 
by living a common life — 

195 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

“Christianity” has become something fundamentally different 
from what its founder did and desired. It is the great antipagan 


"Bridge for asses: a help for the inept. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 115 

movement of antiquity, formulated through the employment of the 
life, teaching and “words” of the founder of Christianity but inter- 
preted in an absolutely arbitrary way after the pattern of funda- 
mentally different needs: translated into the language of every 
already existing subterranean religion — 

It is the rise of pessimism (-—while Jesus wanted to bring 
peace and the happiness of lambs) : and moreover the pessimism 
of the weak, the inferior, the suffering, the oppressed. 

Its mortal enemy is (1) power in character, spirit and taste; 
“worldliness”; (2) classicar'happiness,” the noble levity and skep- 
ticism, the hard pride, the eccentric intemperance and the cool self- 
sufficiency of the sage, Greek refinement in gesture, word, and 
form. Its mortal enemy is the Roman just as much as the Greek. 

Attempt by antipaganism to found and make itself possible 
philosophically: predilection for the ambiguous figures Of the old 
culture, above all for Plato, that instinctive Semite and anti-Hellene 
— also for Stoicism, which is essentially the work of Semites 
( — “dignity” as strictness, law, virtue as greatness, self-responsi- 
bility, authority, as supreme sovereignty over one’s own person — 
this is Semitic. The Stoic is an Arabian sheik wrapped in Greek 
togas and concepts) . 8a 

196 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Christianity only takes up the fight that had already begun 
against the classical ideal and the noble religion. 

In fact, this entire transformation is an adaption to the needs 
and the level of understanding of the religious masses of that time: 
those masses which believed in Isis, Mithras, Dionysus, the “Great 
Mother,” and which desired of a religion: (1) hope of a beyond, 
(2) the bloody phantasmagoria of the sacrificial animal (the mys- 
tery), (3) the redemptive deed, the holy legend, (4) asceticism, 
world-denial, superstitious “purification,” (5) a hierarchy, a form 
of community. In short: Christianity accommodated itself to already 
existing and established antipaganism, to the cults that had been 
combatted by Epicurus— more precisely, to the religions of the 
lower masses, the women, the slaves, the non-noble classes. 

We therefore have the following misunderstandings: 

” Zeno of Citium, on Cyprus, the founder of the Stoic school, was prob- 
ably a Semite. 




116 


THE WILL TO POWER 


1. the immortality of the person; 

2. the presumed other world; 

3. the absurdity of the concept of punishment and the concept 
of sin at the heart of the interpretation of existence; 

4. instead of the deification of man his un-deification, the dig- 
ging of the deepest chasm, which only a miracle, only prostration 
in deepest self-contempt can bridge; 

5. the whole world of corrupt imagination and morbid affects 
instead of a kindly and simple way of life, instead of a Buddhistic 
happiness attainable on earth; 

6. an ecclesiastical order with priesthood, theology, cult, 
sacrament; in short, everything that Jesus of Nazareth had com- 
batted; 

7. miracles all over, superstition: while the distinguishing 
mark of Judaism and earliest Christianity is its repugnance to 
miracles, its relative rationality. 

197 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The psychological presupposition: lack of knowledge and 
culture, ignorance which has forgotten all shame: imagine these 
impudent saints in Athens; 

the Jewish instinct of the “chosen”: they claim all the virtues 
for themselves without further ado, and count the rest of the 
world their opposites; a profound sign of a vulgar soul; 

a complete lack of real aims, of real tasks, for which one 
needs other virtues than those of the bigot— the state took this 
work from their shoulders: these impudent people nonetheless 
behaved as if they had no need of the state. 

“Except ye become as little children — oh, how far we are 
from this psychological naivete! 

198 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The founder of Christianity had to pay for having directed 
himself to the lowest class of Jewish society and intelligence. They 
conceived him in the spirit they understood— It is a real disgrace 
to have concocted a salvation story, a personal God, a personal 
redeemer, a personal immortality and to have retained all the mean- 
ness of the “person” and “history” in a doctrine that contests the 
reality of all that is personal and historical — 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 117 

The salvation legend in place of the symbolic now-and-always, 
here and everywhere; the miracle in place of the psychological 
symbol. 


199 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Nothing is less innocent than the New Testament. One knows 
from what soil it sprang. This people of an inflexible self-will 
which knew how to prevail after it had lost every natural support 
and had long since forfeited its right to existence, and to that end 
had to raise itself up by unnatural, purely imaginary presupposi- 
tions (as chosen people, as community of saints, as the people of 
the promise, as “church”): this people handled the pia fraus 33 
with such perfection, such a degree of “good conscience,” that 
one cannot be sufficiently cautious when it preaches morality. When 
Jews step forward as innocence itself then the danger is great: one 
should always have one’s little fund of reason, mistrust, and malice 
to hand when one reads the New Testament. 

People of the basest origin, in part rabble, outcasts not only 
from good but also from respectable society, raised away from 
even the smell of culture, without discipline, without knowledge, 
without the remotest suspicion that there is such a thing as con- 
science in spiritual matters; simply — Jews: with an instinctive 
ability to create an advantage, a means of seduction out of every 
superstitious supposition, out of ignorance itself. 34 

200 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

I regard Christianity as the most fatal seductive lie that has 
yet existed, as the great unholy lie: I draw out the after-growth 
and sprouting of its ideal from beneath every form of disguise, I 
reject every compromise position with respect to it — I force a war 
against it. 

Petty people’s morality as the measure of things: this is the 
most disgusting degeneration culture has yet exhibited. And this 
kind of ideal still hanging over mankind as “God”!! 

" Pious fraud, or holy lie. 

M For Nietzsche’s attitude toward the Jews see my preface to The Anti- 
christ ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 565 ff) and my Nietzsche, Chapter 10. 


118 


THE WILL TO POWER 


201 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

However modest one may be in one’s demand for intellectual 
cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with 
the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the 
unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise 
their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges 
of such things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with 
which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose 
of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but 
simply things that these little bigots knew! 

202 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 


This was the most fatal kind of megalomania there has ever 
been on earth: when these lying little abortions of bigots began to 
lay claim to the words “God,” “Last Judgment,” “truth,” “love,” 
“Wisdom,” “Holy Spirit” and with them made a boundary between 
themselves and “the world”; when this species of man began to 
reverse values according to his own image, as if he were the mean- 
ing, the salt, the measure, and the standard of all the rest— one 
should have built madhouses for them and nothing more. That one 
persecuted them was a piece of ancient folly in the grand manner: 
that meant taking them too seriously, that meant making something 
serious out of them. 

The whole fatality was made possible by the presence in the 
world already of a similar kind of megalomania, the Jewish ( — once 
the chasm had opened Up between the Jews and the Christian-Jews, 
the Christian-Jews had to employ once more and in an ultimate 
intensification for their own self-preservation the self-preservative 
procedures devised by the Jewish instinct — ); on the other hand, 
Greek moral philosophy had already done everything to prepare 
the way for and to make palatable moral fanaticism even among 
Greeks and Romans — Plato, the great viaduct of corruption, who 
first refused to see nature in morality, who had already debased 
the Greek gods with his concept “good,” who was already marked 
by Jewish bigotry ( — in Egypt?) 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


119 


203 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

On the denaturing of morality . — These little herd-animal vir- 
tues do not by any means lead to “eternal life”: to put them on 
show in this way, and oneself with them, may be very clever, but 
to him who keeps his eyes open even here, it remains in spite of 
all the most ludicrous of all plays. One does not by any means 
deserve a privileged position on earth and in heaven by attaining 
perfection as a little, good-natured sheep; one remains at best a 
little, good-natured, absurd sheep with horns — provided one does 
not burst with vanity — as the court chaplains do 35 — or provoke 
scandal by posing as a judge. 

What a tremendous transfiguration of color here illumines the 
little virtues — -as if they were the reflection of divine qualities! 

The natural task and utility of every virtue is systematically 
hushed up; it is of value only with reference to a divine command, 
a divine model, only with reference to heavenly and spiritual goods. 
(Magnificent: as if it had to do with “salvation of the soul”: but 
it was a means of “enduring” things here with as many beautiful 
feelings as possible.) 

204 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

The law, the thoroughly realistic formalization of certain con- 
ditions for the self-preservation of a community, forbids certain 
actions directed to certain ends, namely those that are directed 
against the community: it does not forbid the disposition that pro- 
duces these actions — for it needs these actions for other ends, 
namely against the enemies of the Community. Then the moral 
idealist appears and says: “God beholds the heart: the action itself 
is nothing; one must exterminate the aggressive disposition that 
produces it — ” Under normal conditions one laughs at this; only 
in those exceptional instances when a community lives absolutely 
outside the necessity of waging war for its existence does one lend 
an ear to such things. One abandons a disposition whose utility is 
no longer apparent. 

This was the case, e.g., when Buddha appeared amidst a very 
peaceable and even spiritually exhausted community. 

* These words — a dig at Hofprediger Stocker, the leading German anti- 
Semite of the time — are found only in 1911, p. 502. This is also true of the 
title of this section. For Stocker see also 89 and 191 above. 



120 


THE WILL TO POWER 


This was also the case with the earliest Christian community 
(also Jewish community), whose presupposition is the absolutely 
unpolitical Jewish society. Christianity could grow only in the soil 
of Judaism, i.e., amidst a people that had already renounced poli- 
tics and lived a kind of parasitic: existence within the Roman order 
of things. Christianity is a step further on: one is even more free 
to “emasculate” oneself — circumstances permit it. 

One drives nature out of morality when one Says “Love your 
enemies”: for then the natural “Thou shalt love thy neighbor and 
hate thy enemy” in the law (in instinct) has become meaningless; 
then this love of one’s neighbor must also find a new basis (as a 
kind of love of God). Everywhere, God is inserted and utility 
withdrawn; everywhere the real origin of morality is denied: the 
veneration of nature, which lies precisely in the recognition of a 
natural morality, is destroyed at its roots — 

Whence comes the seductive charm of such an emasculated 
ideal of man? Why are we not disgusted by it as we are perhaps 
disgusted by the idea of a castrato? — The answer lies precisely 
here: the voice of a castrato does not disgust us, despite the cruel 
mutilation that is its condition: it has grown sweeter — Just be- 
cause the “male organ” has been amputated from virtue, a feminine 
note has been brought to the voice of virtue that it did not have 
before. 

If we think, on the other hand, of the fearful hardship, danger, 
and accidents that a life of manly virtue brings with it — the life 
of a Corsican even today or that of the pagan Arab (which is 
similar even in its details to the life of the Corsican: their songs 
might have been written by Corsicans) — we grasp how precisely 
the most robust kind of man is fascinated and affected by this lust- 
ful note of “goodness,” of “purity” — A shepherd’s song — an idyl 
— the “good man”: these things produce the strongest effect in 
ages when tragedy walks abroad. 


* 

But we have with this also recognized to what extent the 
“idealist” ( — ideal-castrato) also emerges from a quite definite 
reality and is not merely a fantasist — he has arrived at the knowl- 
edge that for his kind of reality such a coarse injunction forbidding 
definite actions has no meaning (because the very instinct for these 
actions has been weakened through long lack of practice, of need 



121 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 

for practice). The castrator formulates a number of new self- 
preservative measures for men of a quite definite species: in this 
he is a realist. His means of legislation are the same as those of 
the older legislators: the appeal to authority of all kinds, to “God,” 
the employment of the concept “guilt and punishment” — i.e., he 
makes use of all the appurtenances of the older ideal, only in a 
new interpretation, punishment, for example, made more inward 
(perhaps as the pang of conscience). 

In practice this species of man goes under as soon as the ex- 
ceptional conditions of his existence cease — a kind of Tahiti and 
island happiness, as in the life of the little Jews in the provinces. 
Their only natural opponent is the soil from which they grew: 
against this they need to fight, against this they must let the offen- 
sive and defensive affects grow again: their opponents are the 
adherents of the old ideal ( — this species of enmity is championed 
on a grand scale by Paul in relation to Judaism, by Luther in rela- 
tion to the priestly-ascetic ideal). The mildest form of this oppo- 
sition is certainly that of the early Buddhists: perhaps no greater 
amount of work has been expended upon anything than upon 
the discouragement and weakening of feelings of emnity. The fight 
against ressenliment seems to be almost the first duty of the Bud- 
dhist: only thus is peace of soul assured. To disengage oneself, but 
without rancor: that presupposes, to be sure, an astonishingly mild 
and sweet humanity — saints — 


❖ 

The prudence of moral castrationism . — How can one wage 
war against the manly affects and valuations? One possesses no 
means of physical force, one can wage only a war of cunning, 
sorcery, lies, in short “of the spirit.” 

First recipe: one claims virtue in genera! for one’s ideal; one 
negates the older ideal to the point of presenting it as the antithesis 
of all ideals. For this one employs an art of defamation. 

Second recipe: one sets up one’s own type as the measure of 
value in general; one projects it into things, behind things, behind 
the fate of things — as God. 

Third recipe: one sets up the opponent of one’s ideal as the 
opponent of God; one fabricates for oneself the right to great 
pathos, to power, to curse and to bless. 

Fourth recipe: one derives all suffering, all that is uncanny, 



122 THE WILL TO POWER 

fearful and fateful in existence from opposition to one’s own ideal: 
—all suffering is punishment, even in the case of one’s followers 
( — unless it accompanies a test, etc.). 

Fifth recipe: one goes so far as to conceive nature as the 
antithesis of one’s own ideal; one regards it as a great test of 
patience, as a sort of martyrdom to endure natural conditions for 
very long; one practices dedain 38 of mien and manners in respect 
to all “natural things.” 

Sixth recipe: the victory of unnaturalness, of the castrationist 
ideal, the victory of the world of the pure, good, sinless, blessed is 
projected into the future as conclusion, finale, great hope, as the 
“coming of the kingdom of God.” 

1 hope that at this artificial inflation of a small species 

into the absolute measure of things one is still permitted to laugh? 

205 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

I do not like at all about that Jesus of Nazareth or his apostle 
Paul that they put so many ideas into the heads of little people, as 
if their modest virtues were of any consequence. We have had to 
pay too dearly for it: for they have brought the more valuable 
qualities of virtue and man into ill repute; they have set the bad 
conscience of the noble soul against its self-sufficiency; they have 
led astray, to the point of self-destruction, the brave, magnanimous, 
daring, excessive inclinations of the strong soul — 

206 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

In the New Testament, and specifically in the Gospels, I hear 
absolutely nothing “divine” speaking: much rather an indirect form 
of the most abysmal rage for defamation and destruction — one of 
the most dishonorable forms of hatred. It lacks all knowledge of 
the qualities of a higher nature. Clumsy abuse of all kinds of phili- 
stinism; the entire treasury of proverbs is laid claim to and fully 
utilized; was it necessary for a god to come in order to say to 
these publicans etc. — 

Nothing is more vulgar than this battle against the Pharisees 
with the aid of an absurd and impractical moral pretence; the peo- 
ple have always taken pleasure in such a tour de force. The re- 
proach of “hypocrisy!” coming from this mouth! Nothing is more 


” Disdain. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


123 


vulgar than this kind of treatment of an opponent — a most in- 
sidious criterion of nobility or its reverse — 

207 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Primitive Christianity is abolition of the state: forbids oaths, 
war service, courts of justice, self-defense and the defense of any 
kind of community, the distinction between fellow countrymen and 
foreigners, and also the differentiation of classes. 

Christ’s example: he does not resist those who are harming 
him; he does not defend himself; he does more: he “turns the other 
cheek” (to the question: “Tell us whether thou be the Christ” he 
answers: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the 
right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven”). He 
forbids his disciples to defend him; he makes it clear that he could 
get help but will not. 

Christianity is also abolition of society: it prefers all that 
society counts of little worth, it grows up among outcasts and the 
condemned, among lepers of all kinds, “sinners,” “publicans,” 
prostitutes, the most stupid folk (the “fishers”); it disdains the 
rich, the learned, the noble, the virtuous, the “correct” — 

208 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The war against the noble and powerful as it is waged in the 
New Testament is a war after the manner of Reynard the Fox 
and with the same methods: but always with priestly unction and 
a decided refusal to recognize one’s own cunning. 

209 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The gospel: the news that a gateway to happiness stands open 
for the poor and lowly — that all one has to do is free oneself from 
the institutions, traditions, guardianship of the upper classes: to 
this extent the rise of Christianity is nothing more than the typical 
socialist doctrine. 

Property, gain, fatherland, rank and status, tribunals, police, 
state, church, education, art, the army: all are so many hindrances 
to happiness, errors, snares, works of the devil, upon which the 
gospel passes judgment — all typical of socialist doctrine. 

In the background is insurrection, the explosion of a stored-up 



124 


THE WILL TO POWER 


antipathy towards the “masters,” the instinct for how much happi- 
ness could lie, after such long oppression, simply in feeling oneself 
free — (Usually a sign that the lower orders have been too well 
treated, their tongues have already tasted a happiness forbidden 
them — It is not hunger that provokes revolutions, but that the 
people have acquired an appetite en mangeant * 7 — ). 

210 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Read the New Testament as a book of seduction: virtue is 
appropriated in the instinct that with it one can capture public 
opinion — and indeed the most modest virtue, which recognizes 
the ideal sheep and nothing further (including the shepherd — ): 
a little, sweet, well-meaning, helpful, and enthusiastically cheer- 
ful kind of virtue that expects absolutely nothing from the outside 
— that sets itself altogether apart from “the world.” The most ab- 
surd arrogance, as if on one hand the community represented all 
that is right, and on the other the world all that is false, eternally 
reprehensible, and rejected, and as if the destiny of mankind re- 
volved about this fact. The most absurd hatred toward everything 
in power: but without touching it! A kind of inner detachment that 
outwardly leaves everything as it was (servitude and slavery; to 
know how to turn everything into a means of serving God and 
virtue). 


211 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Christianity is possible as the most private form of existence; 
it presupposes a narrow, remote, completely unpolitical society — 
it belongs in the conventicle. A “Christian state,” “Christian poli- 
tics,” on the other hand, are a piece of impudence, a lie, like for 
instance a Christian leadership of an army, which finally treats the 
“God of Hosts” as if he were chief of staff. The papacy, too, has 
never been in a position to carry on Christian politics; and when 
reformers indulge in politics, as .Luther did, one sees that they are 
just as much followers of Machiavelli as any immoralist or tyrant. 

212 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Christianity is still possible at any time. It is not tied to any 


"Through eating. 



BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 125 

of the impudent dogmas that have adorned themselves with its 
name: it requires neither the doctrine of a personal God, nor that 
of sin, nor that of immortality, nor that of redemption, nor that 
of faith; it has absolutely no need of metaphysics, and even less 
of asceticism, even less of a Christian “natural science.” Chris- 
tianity is a way of life, not a system of beliefs. It tell us how to 
act, not what we ought to believe. 

Whoever says today: “I will not be a soldier,” “I care nothing 
for the courts,” “I shall not claim the services of the police,” “I 
will do nothing that may disturb the peace within me: and if I 
must suffer on that account, nothing will serve better to maintain 
my peace than suffering” — he would be a Christian. 38 

213 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Toward a history of Christianity. Continual change of milieu: 
Christian doctrine is therefore continually changing its emphasis — 
Favoring of lowly and little people — The development of cari- 
tas H 9 — The type “Christian” reassumes step by step everything 
that it originally negated (in the negation of which it endured — ) . 
The Christian becomes citizen, soldier, judge, worker, merchant, 
scholar, theologian, priest, philosopher, farmer, artist, patriot, 
politician, “prince” — he takes up again all the activities he has 
forsworn ( — self-defense, judgment, punishment, oath-taking, dis- 
tinguishing between nation and nation, contempt, wrath — ). The 
whole life of the Christian is at last exactly the life from which 
Christ preached deliverance — 

The church is what is as much a symptom of the triumph of 
the anti-Christian as the modern state, modem nationalism — The 
church is the barbarization of Christianity. 

214 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

These have mastered Christianity: Judaism (Paul); Plato- 
nism (Augustine); the mystery cult (doctrine of redemption, 
emblem of the “cross”); asceticism ( — enmity toward “nature,” 
“reason,” “the senses” — the Orient — ). 


” Cf. The Antichrist, section 39 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 612). 
" Charity. 




126 


THE WILL TO POWER 


215 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Christianity as a denaturalization of herd-animal morality: 
accompanied by absolute misunderstanding and self-deception. 
Democratization is a more natural form of it, one less mendacious. 

Datum: the oppressed, the lowly, the great masses of slaves 
and semi-slaves desire power. 

First step: they make themselves free — they ransom them- 
selves, in imagination at first, they recognize one another, they 
prevail. 

Second step: they enter into battle, they demand recognition, 
equal rights, “justice.” 

Third step: they demand privileges ( — they draw the repre- 
sentatives of power over to their side). 

Fourth step: they demand exclusive power, and they get it — 

In Christianity, three elements must be distinguished: (a) the 
oppressed of all kinds, (b) the mediocre of all kinds, (c) the dis- 
contented and sick of all kinds. With the first element Christianity 
fights against the political nobility and its ideal; with the second 
element, against the exceptional and privileged (spiritually, physic- 
ally — ) of all kinds; with the third element, against the natural 
instinct of the healthy and happy. 

When a victory is won, the second element steps into the fore- 
ground; for then Christianity has persuaded the healthy and happy 
to its side (as warriors in its cause), likewise the powerful (as 
interested parties on account of the conquest of the mob) — and 
now it is the herd instinct, the mediocre nature which is of value 
from any point of view, which gets its supreme sanction through 
Christianity. This mediocre nature at last grows so conscious of 
itself ( — acquires courage for itself — ) that it arrogates even politi- 
cal power to itself — 

Democracy is Christianity made natural: a kind of “return 
to nature” after, on account of its extreme antinaturalness, it could 
be overcome by the opposite values. — Consequence: the aristo- 
cratic ideal henceforth loses its naturalness (“the higher man,” 
“noble,” “artist,” “passion,” “knowledge,” etc.; romanticism as cult 
of the exception, the genius, etc.). 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


127 


216 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

When the “masters” could also become Christians . — It lies 
in the instinct of a community (family, race, herd, tribe) to feel 
that the conditions and desires to which it owes its survival are 
valuable in themselves, e.g., obedience, reciprocity, consideration, 
moderation, sympathy — consequently to suppress everything that 
contradicts or stands in the way of them. 

Likewise, it lies in the instinct of the rulers (be they indi- 
viduals or classes) to patronize and applaud the virtues that make 
their subjects useful and submissive ( — conditions and affects which 
may be as different as can be from their own). 

The herd instinct and the instinct of the rulers agree in praising 
a certain number of qualities and conditions — but for differing 
reasons: the former from direct egoism, the latter from indirect 
egoism. 

Submission of the master races to Christianity is essentially 
the consequence of the insight that Christianity is a herd religion, 
that it teaches obedience: in short, that Christians are easier to 
rule than non-Christians. With this hint, the pope recommends 
Christian propaganda to the emperor of China even today. 

It should be added that the seductive force of the Christian 
ideal works most strongly perhaps upon such natures as love 
danger, adventure and opposition — as love all that involves risking 
themselves while at the same time engendering a non plus ultra 
of the feeling of power. Consider Saint Teresa, surrounded by the 
heroic instincts of her brothers: — Christianity here appears as a 
form of orgy of the will, of strength of will, as a heroic quixotism — 


3. Christian Ideals 

217 {Spring-Fall 1887) 

War against the Christian ideal, against the doctrine of “bless- 
edness” and “salvation” as the goal of life, against the supremacy 
of the simple, the pure in heart, the suffering and unfortunate. 40 


*In the MS the two paragraphs comprising this section are separated 
by a few pages, and the first paragraph contains a few more words at the 
end, omitted in the standard editions and also by Schlechta: “(What does 



128 


THE WILL TO POWER 


When and where has any man of consequence resembled the 
Christian ideal — at least in such eyes as a psychologist and student 
of man must have? — check all of Plutarch’s heroes. 

218 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Our pre-eminence: we live in the age of comparison, we can 
verify as has never been verified before: we are in every way the 
self-consciousness of history. We enjoy differently, we suffer dif- 
ferently: our instinctive activity is to compare an unheard-of 
number of things. We understand everything, we experience every- 
thing, we no longer have in us any hostile feelings. Although we 
may harm ourselves by it, our importunate and almost amorous 
inquisitiveness attacks, unabashed, the most dangerous things— 

“Everything is good” — it requires an effort for us to deny 
anything. We suffer if we should happen to be so unintelligent as 
to take sides against anything — Fundamentally, it is we scholars 
who today best fulfill the teaching of Christ — 

219 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Irony against those who believe Christianity has been over- 
come by the modern natural sciences. Christian value judgments 
have not by any means been overcome this way. “Christ on the 
cross” is the most sublime symbol — even today. 

220 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

The two great nihilistic movements: (a) Buddhism, (b) 
Christianity. The latter has only now attained to approximately 
the state of culture in which it can fulfill its original vocation — a 
level to which it belongs — in which it can show itself pure. 

221 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

We have recovered the Christian ideal: it remains to determine 
its value: 

God, the faith in God, matter to us any longer? ‘God’ today merely a faded 
word, not even a concept any longer!) But as Voltaire says on his deathbed: 
‘only don’t speak of that man there!’ ” 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 129 

1. What values are negated by it? What does its counterideal 
comprise? — Pride, pathos of distance, great responsibility, exuber- 
ance, splendid animality, the instincts that delight in war and con- 
quest, the deification of passion, of revenge, of cunning, of anger, 
of voluptuousness, of adventure, of knowledge — ; the noble ideal 
is negated: the beauty, wisdom, power, splendor and dangerous- 
ness of the type “man”: the man who fixes goals, the “man of the 
future” ( — here Christianity appears as a logical consequence of 
Judaism — ). 

2. Can it be realized? — Yes, under the right climatic con- 
ditions, as the Indian ideal was. Work is missing in both. — It 
detaches the individual from people, state, cultural community, 
jurisdiction; it rejects education, knowledge, cultivation of good 
manners, gain, commerce — it lets everything go that comprises the 
usefulness and value of man — it shuts him off by means of an 
idiosyncrasy of feeling. Unpolitical, antinational, neither aggressive 
nor defensive — possible only within the most firmly ordered 
political and social life, which allows these holy parasites to pro- 
liferate at public expense — 

3. It is a consequence of the will to pleasure — and to nothing 
else! “Blessedness” counts as something self-evident, which no 
longer requires any justification — everything else (how to ,live and 
let live) is only a means to an end — 

But this way of thinking is base: fear of pain, of defilement, 
of corruption as a sufficient motive for letting everything go — 
This is a wretched way of thinking — Sign of an exhausted race — • 
One should not let oneself be deceived. (“Become as little chil- 
dren” — . Of related nature: Francis of Assisi, neurotic, epileptic, 
a visionary, like Jesus.) 

222 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The higher man is distinguished from the lower by his fear- 
lessness and his readiness to challenge misfortune: it is a sign 
of degeneration when eudaemonistic valuations begin to prevail 
( — physiological fatigue, feebleness of will — ). Christianity, with 
its perspective of “blessedness,” is a mode of thought typical of 
a suffering and feeble species of man. Abundant strength wants 
to create, suffer, go under: the Christian salvation-for-bigots is 
bad music to it, and its hieratic posture an annoyance. 



130 


THE WILL TO POWER 


223 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Poverty, humility, and chastity — dangerous and slanderous 
ideals, but, like poisons in the case of certain illnesses, useful cures, 
e.g., in the Roman imperial era. 

All ideals are dangerous: because they debase and brand the 
actual; all are poisons, but indispensable as temporary cures. 

224 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

God created man happy, idle, innocent, and immortal: our 
actual life is a false, decayed, sinful existence, an existence of 
punishment — Suffering, struggle, work, death are considered as 
objections and question marks against life, as something that ought 
not to last; for which one requires a cure — and has a cure! — 

From the time of Adam until now, man has been in an 
abnormal state: God himself has sacrificed his son for the guilt of 
Adam, in order to put an end to this abnormal state: the natural 
character of life is a curse; Christ gives back the state of normality 
to him who believes in him: he makes him happy, idle and inno- 
cent. — But the earth has not begun to be fruitful without work; 
women do not bear children without pain; sickness has not ceased; 
the most devout believers have just as hard a time of it here as the 
least devout unbelievers. That man has been freed from death and 
sin (assertions which permit of no verification) — has been asserted 
by the church with all the more emphasis. “He is free from sin” — 
not through his own deed, not through a stern struggle on his part, 
but ransomed for freedom through the act of redemption — conse- 
quently perfect, innocent, paradisiacal — 

The true life is only a faith (i.e., a self-deception, a madness). 
The whole of struggling, battling, actual existence, full of splendor 
and darkness, only a bad, false existence: the task is to be redeemed 
from it. 

“Man innocent, idle, immortal, happy” — this conception of 
“supreme desiderata” must be criticized above all. Why are guilt, 
work, death, suffering (and, from a Christian viewpoint, knowl- 
edge — ) contrary to the supreme desiderata? — The lazy Christian 
concepts "blessedness,” “innocence,” “immortality” — 



BOOK TWO: Critique of Highest Values 


131 


225 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The eccentric concept of “holiness” is lacking — “God” and 
“man” have not been tom asunder. “Miracles” are lacking — this 
sphere simply isn’t there: the only sphere worth consideration is 
the “spiritual” (i.e., the symbolic-psychological ) . As decadence: 
pendant to “epicureanism” — Paradise, as conceived by the Greeks, 
also only the “garden of Epicurus.” 

Any task is lacking in such a life: — it desires nothing; a form 
of the “Epicurean gods;” all reason is lacking to set up any further 
goals, to have children: — everything has been attained. 

226 ( March-June 1888) 

They despised the body: they left it out of the account: more, 
they treated it as an enemy. It was their delusion to believe that 
one could carry a “beautiful soul” about in a cadaverous abor- 
tion — To make this conceivable to others they needed to present 
the concept “beautiful soul” in a different way, to revalue the 
natural value, until at last a pale, sickly, idiotically fanatical crea- 
ture was thought to be perfection, “angelic,” transfiguration, higher 
man. 


227 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

Ignorance in psychologicis—thc Christian has no nervous sys- 
tem — ; contempt for, and a deliberate desire to disregard the 
demands of the body, the discovery of the body; the presupposition 
that this is in accordance with the higher nature of man, that it 
must necessarily be good for the soul; the systematic reduction of 
all bodily feelings to moral values; illness itself conceived as morally 
conditioned, perhaps as punishment or as testing or also as a state 
of salvation in which man becomes more perfect than he could be 
if he were healthy ( — Pascal’s idea) ; under certain circumstances, 
making oneself sick deliberately. 

228 (1883-1888) 

What, then, is this struggle of the Christian “against nature”? 
Do not let us be deceived by his words and explanations! It is 



132 


THE WILL TO POWER 


nature against something that is also nature. With many it is fear, 
with some disgust, with others a certain spirituality, with the best, 
love of an ideal without flesh and desires, of an “abstraction from 
nature” — these try to live up to their ideal. It goes without saying 
that humility in place of self-reliance, anxious circumspection 
toward the desires, liberation from normal duties (whereby a 
higher feeling of rank is re-created), the incitement of a continual 
war over tremendous things, habituation to effusions of feeling — 
all this composes a type: in this type the excitability of a degenerate 
body predominates, but this nervousness and the inspirations it 
induces are interpreted otherwise. The taste of natures of this kind 
tends (1) to subtlety, (2) to floweriness, (3) to extreme feelings. 

Natural inclinations are satisfied, but under a new form of 
interpretation, e.g., as “justification before God,” “the feeling of 
redemption through grace” ( — every undeniable pleasant feeling 
is interpreted thus! — ), pride, voluptuousness, etc. 

General problem: what will become of the man who defames ' 
the natural, and denies and degrades it in practice? In fact, the 
Christian proves himself to be an exaggerated form of self-control: 
in order to restrain his desires he seems to find it necessary to 
extirpate or crucify them. 

229 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Through the long succession of millennia, man has not known 
himself physiologically: he does not know himself even today. To 
know, e.g., that one has a nervous system ( — but no “soul” — ) is 
still the privilege of the best informed. But man is not content not 
to know in this case. One must be very humane to say “I don’t 
know that,” to afford ignorance. 

If he is suffering or in a good mood, he has no doubt that he 
can find the reason for it if only he looks. So he looks for the 
reason — In truth, he cannot find the reason, because he does not 
even suspect where he ought to look for it — What happens? — He 
takes a consequence of his condition for its cause; e.g., a work 
undertaken in a good mood (really undertaken because the good 
mood had provided the courage for it) succeeds: ecco, the work 
is the reason for the good mood. — In fact, the success was deter- 
mined by the same thing that determined the good mood — by the 
happy coordination of physiological forces and systems. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 133 

He feels ill: and consequently he has not got over some worry, 
some scruple, some self-criticism. — In truth, the man believes his 
ill condition is a consequence of his scruple, his “sin,” his “self- 
criticism” — 

But the condition of recovery returns, often after a profound 
exhaustion and prostration. “How is it possible for me to feel so 
free, so redeemed? It is a miracle; only a god can have performed 
that.” — Conclusion: “He has forgiven me my sin” — 

From this there follows a certain practice: to excite feelings 
of sin, to prepare the way for contrition, one has to reduce the 
body to a morbid and nervous condition. The method of doing 
this is well known. As one might expect, there is no suspicion of 
the causal logic of the case: there is a religious interpretation of 
the mortification of the flesh, it seems an end in itself, whereas it 
is only a means of making possible the morbid indigestion of 
repentance (the "idee fixe” of sin, the hypnotizing of the hen by the 
chalk line “sin”) . 

The maltreatment of the body prepares the ground for the 
sequence of “feelings of guilt,” i.e., a general state of suffering that 
demands an explanation — 

On the other hand, the method of “redemption” follows in the 
same way: one provokes all kinds of orgies of feeling by prayers, 
motions, gestures, oaths — exhaustion follows, often abruptly, often 
in the form of epilepsy. And — after a condition of deep somnolence 
comes the appearance of recovery — in religious language: “redemp- 
tion.” 40 " 1 


230 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Formerly one considered these conditions and consequences of 
physiological exhaustion more important than conditions of health 
and their consequences, because they are rich in the sudden, the 
fearful, the inexplicable and the incalculable. One was afraid: one 
postulated here a higher world. Sleep and dream, shadows, the 
night, natural terrors, have been held responsible for the creation 
of two worlds: above all, the symptoms of physiological exhaustion 
should have been considered in this regard. The ancient religions 
actually disciplined the pious into a condition of exhaustion in 

"’This discussion of mistaking consequences for causes should be 
compared with the chapter on “The Four Great Errors” in Twilight. 




134 


the will to power 


which they must experience such things — One believed one had 
entered a higher order of things where everything ceased to be 
familiar. — The appearance of a higher power — 

231 (March-] une 1888) 

Sleep as consequence of every exhaustion, exhaustion as con- 
sequence of every excessive excitement — 

The necessity for sleep, the deification and adoration of the 
very concept “sleep” in all pessimistic religions and philosophies — 

The exhaustion is in this case a racial exhaustion: sleep, 
regarded psychologically, is only a symbol of a much deeper and 
longer compulsion to rest — In practice it is death that works so 
seductively behind the image of its brother, sleep — 

232 (March-June 1888 ) 

The entire Christian training in repentance and redemption 
can be conceived as a deliberately provoked folie circulate:* 1 but, 
as one might expect, producible only in predestined, that is, mor- 
bidly inclined individuals. 

233 (March-June 1888) 

Against remorse and the purely psychological treatment of 
it. — To be unable to have done with an experience is already a 
sign of decadence. This reopening of old wounds, this wallowing 
in self-contempt and contrition, is one more illness, out of which 
no “salvation of the soul” can arise but only a new form of soul 
sickness — 

These “states of redemption” in the Christian are mere varia- 
tions of one and the same diseased state — interpretations of the 
epileptic crisis by a certain formula supplied, not by science, but 
by religious delusion. 

One is good in a sickly manner when one is sick — We now 
count the greater part of the psychological apparatus with which 
Christianity operated as forms of hysteria and epilepsy. 

The entire practice of psychological healing must be put back 

* An earlier name for manic-depressive insanity, sometimes rendered 
as alternating insanity. 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 135 

on to a physiological basis: the “bite” of conscience as such is a 
hindrance to recovery — one must try to counterbalance it all by 
new activities, in order to escape from the sickness of self-torture 
as quickly as possible — One should discredit the purely psycho- 
logical practice of the church and the sects as harmful to health — 
One cannot cure an invalid by prayers and the exorcizing of evil 
spirits: the conditions of “repose” that supervene under the influ- 
ence of such things are very far from inspiring confidence, in a 
psychological sense — 

One is healthy when one can laugh at the earnestness and 
zeal with which one has been hypnotized by any single detail of 
our life, when one feels that the “bite” of conscience is like a dog 
biting on a stone — when one is ashamed of one’s remorse — 

Previous practice, which was purely religious and psycho- 
logical, aimed only at a change in the symptoms: it held a man to 
be cured when he abased himself before the cross and swore to 
be a good man — But a criminal who with a certain sombre serious- 
ness cleaves to his fate and does not slander his deed after it is 
done has more health of soul— The criminals among whom Dos- 
toevsky lived in prison were one and all unbroken natures— -are 
they not worth a hundred times more than a “broken” Christian? 

( — I recommend that the “bite” of conscience be treated 
with Mitchell’s cure 42 ) 

234 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

The “bite” of conscience : sign that the character is not equal 
to the deed. There is such a thing as a “bite” of conscience after 
good works: the unfamiliar in them, that which raises them out of 
the old milieu . — 43 


"The "rest cure” of Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914, American), 
consisting primarily in isolation, confinement to bed, dieting, and massage. 
Cf. Genealogy I, section 6, where Nietzsche mentions isolation and over- 
eating. 

"With sections 233-35 compare section 10 of the first chapter of 
Twilight ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 467): "Not to perpetrate cowardice against 
one’s own acts! Not to leave them in the lurch afterward! The bite of 
conscience is indecent.” 

The influence of these passages and others on Sartre’s The Flies is dis- 
cussed in detail in my essay on "Nietzsche between Homer and Sartre: 
Five Treatments of the Orestes Story,” in Rivue Internationale de Philoso- 
phic, 67 (1964.1), especially pp. 65-73. 




136 


THE WILL TO POWER 


235 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

Against remorse . — I do not like this kind of cowardice 
toward one’s own deeds; one should not leave oneself in the lurch 
at the onset of unanticipated shame and embarrassment. An 
extreme 44 pride, rather, is in order. After all, what is the good of 
it! No deed can be undone by being regretted; no more than by 
being “forgiven” or “atoned for.” One would have to be a theo- 
logian to believe in a power that annuls guilt: we immoralists 
prefer not to believe in “guilt.” We hold instead that every action 
is of identical value at root — and that actions that turn against us 
may, economically considered, be nonetheless useful, generally 
desirable actions. 

In any particular case we will allow that an act could easily 
have been spared us— but circumstances favored it. Which of us, 
if favored by circumstance, would not have gone through the entire 
gamut of crime? 

One should never say on that account: “You should not have 
done this or that,” but always: “How strange that I should not 
have done that a hundred times before!” 

After all, very few actions are typical actions and real epit- 
omes of a personality; and considering how little personality most 
men have, a man is seldom characterized by a single action. Acts 
of circumstance, merely epidermal, merely reflexes that respond to 
a stimulus: long before the depths of our being are touched by it, 
consulted about it. A rage, a reach, a knife thrust: what of per- 
sonality is in that? 45 

A deed often brings with it a numbness and lack of freedom: 
so that the doer is as if spellbound at its recollection and feels as 
if he were an accessory of it. This spiritual disorder, a form of 
hypnotism, must be resisted at all cost: a single deed, whatever it 
may be, is, in comparison with everything one has done, a zero, 
and may be deducted without falsifying the account. The iniquitous 
interest that society may have in treating our entire existence from 
a single point of view, as if its meaning lay in bringing forth one 
single deed, should not infect the doer himself: unfortunately this 


“This word is illegible in the MS and represents a conjecture by the 
German editors. See also the preceding footnote. 

"Cf. Camus, The Stranger. 



137 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 

happens almost all the time* That stems from the fact that a 
spiritual disturbance follows every deed with unusual consequences, 
whether these consequences are good or ill. Observe a lover who 
has received a promise, or a poet applauded by an audience: so 
far as torpor intellectuals is concerned, they differ in no way from 
an anarchist confronted with a search warrant. 

There are actions which are unworthy oi us: actions that, if 
regarded as typical, would reduce us to a lower class of man. Here 
one has only to avoid the error of regarding them as typical. There 
are other kinds of actions of which we are unworthy: exceptions 
bom of a particular abundance of happiness and health, our high- 
est floodtide driven so high for once by a storm, an accident: such 
actions and “works” are likewise not typical. One should never 
measure an artist by the standard of his works. 


236 (Jan.- Fall 1888 ) 

a. In proportion as Christianity still seems necessary today, 
man is still savage and fateful — 

b. From another point of view it is not necessary, but 
extremely harmful, although enticing and seductive because it cor- 
responds to the morbid character of whole classes, whole types of 
contemporary humanity— decadents of all kinds, they follow their 
inclinations when they aspire to Christianity — 

One must distinguish clearly between a. and b. In case a. 
Christianity is a cure, at least a means of taming ( — under certain 
circumstances it serves to make sick: which can be useful in break- 
ing savagery and brutality). In case b. it is itself a symptom of 
sickness, propagates decadence; here it works against a corroborat- 
ing system of treatment, here it is the invalid’s instinct against that 
which is good for him — 

237 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

The party of the serious, dignified, reflective: and opposed 
to them the savage, unclean, incalculable beast— : merely a prob- 
lem of animal taming — in which the animal tamer must be hard, 
fearsome and terror-inspiring toward his beasts. 

All essential demands must be made with a brutal clarity, i.e., 
exaggerated a thousandfold: 



138 THE WILL TO POWER 

even the fulfilment of the demand must be represented in a 
coarsened way, so it may inspire awe, e.g., emancipation from the 
senses on the part of the Brahmins. 


* 

The struggle with the canaille and the cattle. If a certain tam- 
ing and order is to be achieved, the chasm between these purified 
and reborn people and the remainder must be made as fearful as 
possible — 

This chasm increases in the higher castes their self-regard, 
their faith in that which they represent- — hence the chandala. Con- 
tempt and an excess of it is perfectly correct psychologically, that 
is to say, exaggerated a hundredfold, so that it may at least be 
copied. 48 


238 ( Jan-Fall 1888 ) 

The struggle against the brutal instincts is different from the 
struggle against the sick instincts; to make sick may even be a 
means of mastering brutality* Christian psychological practice often 
leads to the conversion of a brute into a sick and consequently tame 
animal. 

The struggle against brutal and savage natures must be a 
struggle using means that affect them: superstitions are indispensa- 
ble and essential — 47 

239 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Our age is in a certain sense ripe (that is to say, decadent), 
as the age of Buddha was — Therefore a Christianity is possible, 
but without the absurd dogmas (the most repellent abortions of 
antique hybridism). 


240 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Even granted that the Christian faith might not be disprova- 
ble, Pascal thinks, nonetheless, that, in view of a fearful possibility 
that it is true, it is in the highest degree prudent to be a Christian. 

" But cf. Twilight, ‘The ‘Improvers’ of Mankind,” sections 3-5, ( Port- 
able Nietzsche, pp. 503-505), which were written later. 

" See the footnote to section 237. 



BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 139 

Today one finds, as a sign of how much Christianity has declined 
in fearfulness, that other attempt to justify it by saying that even 
if it were an error, one might yet have during one’s life the great 
advantage and enjoyment of this error: 1 — • it therefore seems that 
this faith ought to be maintained precisely for the sake of its 
tranquilizing effect — not, therefore, from fear of a threatening 
possibility, rather from fear of a life that has lost one charm. This 
hedonistic turn, the proof from pleasure, is a symptom of decline: 
it replaces the proof from strength, from that which overpowers us 
in the Christian idea, from fear. In fact, with this reinterpretation 
Christianity is approaching exhaustion: one is content with an 
opiate Christianity because one has the strength neither to seek, 
to struggle, to dare, to wish to stand alone, nor for Pascalism, for 
this brooding self-contempt, for faith in human unworthiness, for 
the anguished feeling that one is “perhaps damned.” But a Chris- 
tianity intended above all to soothe diseased nerves has really no 
need of that fearful solution of a “God on the cross”: which is 
why Buddhism is silently gaining ground everywhere in Europe. 

241 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The humor of European culture: one holds this to be true but 
does that. E.g., what is the point of the arts of reading and criti- 
cism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protes- 
tant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever? 

242 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

One does not consider closely enough how barbarous the 
concepts are by which we Europeans still live. That men have been 
capable of believing that “salvation of the soul” depended on a 
book! — And they tell me this is still believed today. 

What is the point of scientific education, criticism and herme- 
neutics if such a lunatic exposition of the Bible as is still cultivated 
by the church has not yet turned the blush of shame into a perma- 
nent skin color? 

243 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

To consider: to what extent the fateful belief in divine provi- 
dence — the most paralyzing belief for hand and reason there has 



140 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ever been — still exists; to what extent Christian presuppositions 
and interpretations still live on under the formulas “nature,” 
“progress/’ “perfectibility,” “Darwinism,” under the superstitious 
belief in a certain relationship between happiness and virtue, 
unhappiness and guilt. That absurd trust in the course of things, 
in “life,” in the “instinct of life,” that comfortable resignation that 
comes from the faith that if everyone only does his duty all will be 
well — this kind of thing is meaningful only by supposing a direc- 
tion of things sub specie boni. Even fatalism, the form philosophi- 
cal sensibility assumes with us today, is a consequence of this long 
belief in divine dispensation, an unconscious consequence: as if 
what happens were no responsbility of ours (—as though it were 
permissible to let things take their course: every individual self 
only a mode of absolute reality — ). 

244 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

It is the height of psychological mendaciousness in man to 
frame according to his own petty standard of what seems good, 
wise, powerful, valuable, a being that is an origin and “in-itself” — 
and therewith to abolish in his mind the entire causal process 
by means of which any kind of goodness, any kind of wisdom, 
any kind of power exists and possesses valuer In short, to posit 
elements of the most recent and contingent origin as not created 
but “in-themselves” and perhaps even as the cause of creation in 
general — 

Judging from experience, from every instance in which a 
man has raised himself significantly above the average of humanity, 
we see that every high degree of power involves freedom from 
good and evil and from “true” and “false,” and cannot take into 
account the demands of goodness: we see that the same applies to 
every high degree of wisdom — goodness is abrogated in it as 
much as veracity, justice, virtue, and other popular fancies in 
valuation. Finally, every high degree of goodness itself: is it not 
patent that it presupposes a spiritual myopia and coarseness? in- 
cluding the inability to distinguish at a distance between true and 
false, between useful and harmful? not to discuss the fact that a 
high degree of power in the hands of the highest degree of goodness 
would lead to the most calamitous consequences (“the abolition 
of evil”)? — In fact, one needs only to see what tendencies the 



141 


book TWO: Critique of Highest Values 

“God of love” inspires in his believers: they ruin mankind for the 
sake of the “good.” — In practice, the actual constitution of the 
world has shown this same God to be the God of the extremest 
shortsightedness, devilry and impotence: which reveals how much 
value there is in this conception of him. 

Knowledge and wisdom in themselves have no value; no 
more than goodness: one must first be in possession of the goal 
from which these qualities derive their value or nohvalue — there 
could be a goal in the light of which great knowledge might repre- 
sent a great disvalue (if, for instance, a high degree of deception 
were one of the prerequisites of the enhancement of life; likewise 
if goodness were perhaps able to paralyze and discourage the 
springs of the great longing) — 

Taking our human life as it is, all “truth,” all “goodness,” all 
“holiness,” all “divinity” in the Christian style has up to now 
shown itself to be highly dangerous-— even now mankind is in 
danger of perishing through an idealism inimical of life. 48 

245 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Consider the damage all human institutions sustain if a 
divine and transcendent higher sphere is postulated that must first 
sanction these institutions. By then growing accustomed to seeing 
their value in this sanction (e.g., in the case of marriage), one has 
reduced their natural dignity, in certain circumstances denied it — 
Nature has been ill-judged to the extent to which one has brought 
into honor the antinaturalness of a God. “Natural” has come to 
mean the same as “contemptible, ’’ “bad” — 

The fatefulness of a belief in God as the reality of the highest 
moral qualities-, all actual values were therewith denied and sys- 
tematically conceived as non-values. Thus antinaturalness as- 
sumed the throne. With relentless logic one arrived at the absolute 
demand to deny nature. 


246 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

In moving the doctrine of selflessness and love into the fore- 
ground, Christianity was in no way establishing the interests of 


"In the MS this section follows a draft for Antichrist, section 47. 


142 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the species as of higher value than the interests of the individual. 
Its real historical effect, the fateful element in its effect, remains, 
on the contrary, in precisely the enhancement of egoism, of the 
egoism of the individual, to an extreme ( — to the extreme of in- 
dividual immortality). Through Christianity, the individual was 
made so important, so absolute, that he could no longer be sac- 
rificed: but the species endures only through human sacrifice--- 
A1I “souls” became equal before God: but this is precisely the 
most dangerous of all possible evaluations! If one regards indi- 
viduals as equal, one calls the species into question, one encourages 
a way of life that leads to the ruin of the species: Christianity is 
the counterprineiple to the principle of selection. If the degenerate 
and sick (“the Christian") is to be accorded the same value as the 
healthy (“the pagan”), of even more value, as in Pascal’s judgment 
concerning sickness and health, then unnaturalness becomes law — 
This universal love of men is in practice the preference for 
the suffering, underprivileged, degenerate: it has in fact lowered 
and weakened the strength, the responsibility, the lofty duty to 
sacrifice men. All that remains, according to the Christian scheme 
of values, is to sacrifice oneself : but this residue of human sacrifice 
that Christianity concedes and even advises has, from the stand- 
point of general breeding, no meaning at all. The prosperity of the 
species is unaffected by the self-sacrifice of this or that individual 
( — whether it be in the monkish and ascetic manner or, with 
the aid of crosses, pyres, and scaffolds, as “martyrs” of error). 
The species requires that the ill-constituted, weak, degenerate, 
perish: but it was precisely to them that Christianity turned as a 
conserving force; it further enhanced that instinct in the weak, 
already so powerful, to take care of and preserve themselves and 
to sustain one another. What is “virtue” and “charity” in Chris- 
tianity if not just this mutual preservation, this solidarity of the 
weak, this hampering of selection? What is Christian altruism if 
not the mass-egoism of the weak, which divines that if all care for 
one another each individual will be preserved as long as possible? — 
If one does not feel such a disposition as an extreme im- 
morality, as a crime against life, One belongs with the company 
of the sick and possesses its instincts oneself — 

Genuine charity demands sacrifice for the good of the species 
— it is hard, it is full of self-overcoming, because it needs human 
sacrifice. And this pseudo humaneness called Christianity wants 
it established that no one should be sacrificed — 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


143 


247 ( March-June 1888) 

Nothing would be more useful or more to be encouraged 
than a thoroughgoing practical nihilism. As I understand all the 
phenomena of Christianity and pessimism, they say: “We are ripe 
for nonexistence; for us it is reasonable not to exist.” This language 
of “reason” is also, in this case, the language of selective nature. 

What, on the other hand, is to be condemned in the sternest 
terms is the ambiguous and cowardly compromise of a religion 
such as Christianity: more precisely, such as the church: which, 
instead of encouraging death and self-destruction, protects every- 
thing ill-constituted and sick and makes it propagate itself- — 

Problem: with what means could one attain to a severe form 
of really contagious nihilism: such as teaches and practices volun- 
tary death with scientific conscientiousness ( — and not a feeble, 
vegetable existence in expectation of a false afterlife — )? 

One cannot sufficiently condemn Christianity for having de- 
valuated the value of such a great purifying nihilistic movement, 
which was perhaps already being formed, through the idea of the 
immortal private person: likewise through the hope of resurrec- 
tion: in short, through continual deterrence from the deed of 
nihilism, which is suicide-— 

It substituted slow suicide: gradually a petty, poor, but 
durable life; gradually a quite ordinary, bourgeois, mediocre life, 
etc. 


248 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Christian moral quackery . — Pity and contempt succeed one 
another in quick alternation, and occasionally I get enraged, as 
at the sight of some mean crime. Here error is made a duty — a 
virtue; blundering is made into an art, the instinct for destruction 
systematized as “redemption”; here every operation becomes an 
injury, an amputation even of those organs whose energy is a 
precondition of any return to health. And the most that is achieved 
is never healing, but only the substitution of one set of evil symp- 
toms for another — 

And this dangerous nonsense, this systematized disfiguring 
and castration of life, is counted holy, inviolable; to live in its 
service, to be an instrument of this healing art, to be a priest, 



144 THE WILL TO POWER 

makes one distinguished, venerable, makes one holy and even 
inviolable. Only divinity can be the author of this highest healing 
art: only as revelation can redemption be understood, as an art 
of grace, as the most undeserved gift granted to the creature. 

First proposition: health of soul is regarded as sickness, as 
suspicious — 

Second proposition: the prerequisites of a strong and flourish- 
ing life, strong desires and passions, count as objections to a 
strong and flourishing life. 

Third proposition: all that threatens man with danger, all 
that might master and destroy him, is evil, is reprehensible— is to 
be tom from his soul by its roots. 

Fourth proposition: man made harmless to himself and others, 
weak, prostrated in humility and modesty, conscious of his weak- 
ness, the “sinner” — this is the most desirable type, and one that 
can also be produced with a little surgery to the soul — 

249 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

What is it I protest against? That one should take this petty, 
peaceable mediocrity, this equilibrium of a soul that knows noth- 
ing of the mighty motivation of great accumulations of strength, 
for something exalted, possibly even for th & measure of man. 

Bacon of Verulam says: Tnfimarum virtutum apud vulgus 
laus est, mediarum admiratio, supremarum sensus nullus .* 9 Chris- 
tianity, however, belongs, as a religion, to the vulgus : it has no 
feeling for the highest species of virtus. 

250 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Let us see what “the true Christian” does with all that which 
his instinct opposes: — he sullies and suspects the beautiful, the 
splendid, the rich, the proud, the self-reliant, the knowledgeable, 
the powerful— in summa, the whole of culture: his object is to 
deprive it of a good conscience — 

251 ( Jam-Fall 1888) 

Hitherto one has always attacked Christianity not merely in 

" The ordinary ruck has praise for the lowest virtues, admiration for 
the mediocre, and for the highest virtues no sense at all. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 145 

a modest way but in the wrong way. As long as one has not felt 
Christian morality to be a capital crime against life its defenders 
have had it all their own way. The question of the mere “truth” 
of Christianity — whether in regard to the existence of its God or 
the historicity of the legend of its origin, not to speak of Christian 
astronomy and natural science — is a matter of secondary im- 
portance as long as the question of the value of Christian morality 
is not considered. Is Christian morality worth anything, or is it a 
shame and digrace despite all the holiness of its arts of seduction? 
The problem of truth can slip away into hiding places of all kinds; 
and the greatest believers may finally avail themselves of the 
logic of the greatest unbelievers to create for themselves a right to 
affirm certain things as irrefutable— namely, as beyond the means 
of all refutation— (this artifice is today called “Kantian Criticism”). 

252 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

One should never forgive Christianity for having destroyed 
such men as Pascal, One should never cease from combating just 
this in Christianity: its will to break precisely the strongest and 
noblest souls. One should never rest as long as this one thing 
has not been Utterly and completely destroyed: the ideal of man 
invented by Christianity, its demands upon men, its Yes and its 
No with regard to men. The whole absurd residue of Christian 
fable, conceptual cobweb-spinning and theology does not concern 
us; it could be a thousand times more absurd and we would not 
lift a finger against it. But we do combat the ideal that, with its 
morbid beauty and feminine seductiveness, with its furtive slander- 
ous eloquence appeals to all the cowardices and vanities of 
wearied souls— and the strongest have their Weary hours-— as if 
all that might, in such states, seem most useful and desirable — 
trust, guilelessness, modesty, patience, love of one’s fellows, resig- 
nation, submission to God, a sort of unharnessing and abdication 
of one’s whole ego — were also the most useful and desirable as 
such; as if the petty, modest abortion of a soul, the virtuous aver- 
age-and-herd man, did not only take precedence over the stronger, 
more evil, covetous, defiant, prodigal, and therefore a hundred 
times more imperiled kind of man, but provided nothing less than 
the ideal, the goal, the measure, the highest desideratum for man- 
kind in general. To erect this ideal was the most sinister tempta- 
tion ever placed before mankind: for with it, the more strongly 



146 


THE WILL TO POWER 


constituted exceptions and fortunate cases among men, in whom 
the will to power and to the growth of the whole type “man” 
took a step forward, were threatened with destruction; with the 
values of this ideal, the growth of these higher men, who for the 
sake of their superior claims and tasks also freely accept a life 
more full of peril (expressed economically: a rise in the cost of 
the undertaking in proportion to the decline in the probability of 
its success) would be attacked at the roots. What is it we combat 
in Christianity? That it wants to break the strong, that it wants to 
discourage their courage, exploit their bad hours and their oc- 
casional weariness, convert their proud assurance into unease and 
distress of conscience, that it knows how to poison and sicken 
the noble instincts until their strength, their will to power turns 
backward, against itself— until the strong perish through orgies of 
self-contempt and self-abuse: that gruesome way of perishing of 
which Pascal provides the most famous example. 


II. CRITIQUE OF MORALITY 

1. Origin of Moral Valuations 

253 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

For the Preface of The Dawn 00 

An attempt to think about morality without falling under its 
spell, mistrustful of the seductiveness of its beautiful gestures and 
glances. A world we can revere, that is adequate to our drive to 
worship — that continually proves itself — by providing guidance 
in the particular and the general — : this is the Christian viewpoint 
in which we have all grown up. 

Through an increase in our acuteness, mistrust, scientificality 
(also through a more ambitious instinct for veracity, thus under 
anti-Christian influences), this interpretation has grown more and 
more impermissible to us. 

Subtlest way of escape: Kantian Criticism. The intellect dis- 
putes its right to make interpretations of this sort as well as to 

M Tbe first edition of The Dawn appeared in 1881; the second, with a 
new preface, in 1887. This heading has always been omitted so far. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 147 

reject interpretations of this sort. One contents oneself with an 
increase in one’s trust and faith, with a renunciation of all prova- 
bility in matters of faith, with an inconceivable and superior “ideal” 
(God) as a stopgap. 

The Hegelian way out, following Plato, a piece of roman- 
ticism and reaction, at the same time a symptom of the historical 
sense, of a new strength: the “spirit” itself is the “self-revealing 
and self-realizing ideal”: more and more of this ideal in which we 
believe manifests itself in the course of its “process,” in “becom- 
ing” — : thus the ideal realizes itself; faith is directed into the 
future when, in accordance With its noble requirements, it can 
worship. In short, 

1. God is unknowable for us and not demonstrable by us 
(the hidden meaning of the epistemological movement); 

2. God is demonstrable but as something in process of be- 
coming, and we are part of it, as witness our impulse toward the 
ideal (the hidden meaning of the historical movement). 

Observe: criticism is never directed at the ideal itself, but 
only at the problem, where the opposition to it originates: why 
it has not yet been achieved or why it is not demonstrable in 
small things and in great. 


It makes all the difference whether one feels this state of 
distress as a state of distress from passion, from a yearning, or 
whether one barely reaches it as a problem after the utmost thought 
and with a certain force of historical imagination. 

We discover the same phenomenon Outside religion and 
philosophy: utilitarianism (socialism, democracy) criticizes the 
origin of moral evaluations, but it believes them just as much as 
the Christian does. (Naivete: as if morality could survive when 
the God who sanctions it is missing! The “beyond” absolutely 
necessary if faith in morality is to be maintained.) 

Basic problem: whence this omnipotence of faith ? Of faith 
in morality? ( — Which betrays itself in this, too, that even the basic 
conditions of life are falsely interpreted for the benefit of morality: 
despite our knowledge of the animal world and the world of plants. 
“Self-preservation”: the reconciliation of altruistic and egoistic 
principles in the perspective of Darwinism.) 



148 


THE WILL TO POWER 


254 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

The inquiry into the origin of our evaluations and tables of 
the good is in absolutely no way identical with a critique of them, 
as is so often believed: even though the insight into some pudenda 
origo B1 certainly brings with it a feeling of a diminution in value 
of the thing that originated thus and prepares the way to a critical 
mood and attitude toward it. 

What are our evaluations and moral tables really worth? 
What is the outcome of their rule? For whom? in relation to 
what? — Answer: for life. But what is life? Here we need a new, 
more definite formulation of the concept “life.” My formula for 
it is: Life is will to power. 

What is the meaning of the act of evaluation itself? Does it 
point back or down to another, metaphysical world? (As Kant 
still believed, who belongs before the great historical movement.) 
In short: where did it originate? Or did it not “originate”? — 
Answer: moral evaluation is an exegesis, a way of interpreting. 
The exegesis itself is a symptom of certain physiological condi- 
tions, likewise of a particular spiritual level of prevalent judg- 
ments: Who interprets? — Our affects. 

255 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

All virtues physiological conditions: particularly the principal 
organic functions considered as necessary, as good. All virtues 
are ready refined passions and enhanced states. 

Pity and love of mankind as development of the sexual drive. 
Justice as development of the drive to revenge. Virtue as pleasure 
in resistance, will to power. Honor as recognition of the similar 
and equal-in-power. 


256 ( 1887 - 1888 ) 

I understand by “morality” a system of evaluations that 
partially coincides with the conditions of a creature’s life. 


“ Shameful origin. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


149 


257 ( March-June 1888) 

Formerly one said of every morality: “By their fruits ye shall 
know them.” I say of every morality: “It is a fruit by which I 
recognize the soil from which it sprang.” 

258 ( 1885-1886 ) 

My attempt to understand moral judgments as symptoms and 
sign languages which betray the processes of physiological pros- 
perity or failure, likewise the consciousness of the conditions for 
preservation and growth — a mode of interpretations of the same 
worth as astrology, prejudices prompted by the instincts (of races, 
communities, of the various stages of life, as youth or decay, etc.). 

Applied to the specific Christian-European morality: Our 
moral judgments are signs of decline, of disbelief in life, a prepara- 
tion for pessimism. 

My chief proposition: there are no moral phenomena, there 
is only a moral interpretation of these phenomena. This interpre- 
tation itself is of extra-moral origin. 62 

What does it mean that our interpretation has projected a 
contradiction into existence? — Of decisive importance: behind 
all other other evaluations these moral evaluations stand in com- 
mand. Supposing they were abolished, according to what would 
we measure then? And then of what value would be knowledge, 
etc., etc. ? ? ? 


259 (1884) 

Insight: all evaluation is made from a definite perspective: 
that of the preservation of the individual, a community, a race, a 
state, a church, a faith, a culture. — Because we forget that valua- 
tion is always from a perspective, a single individual contains 
within him a vast confusion of contradictory valuations and con- 
sequently of contradictory drives. This is the expression of the 
diseased condition in man, in contrast to the animals in which all 
existing instincts answer to quite definite tasks. 

This contradictory creature has in his nature, however, a 
great method of acquiring knowledge: he feels many pros and 


“ Cf. section 266. 




150 


THE WILL TO POWER 


cons, he raises himself to justice — to comprehension beyond es- 
teeming things good and evil. 

The wisest man would be the one richest in contradictions, 
who has, as it were, antennae for all types of men — as Well as his 
great moments of grand harmony — a rare accident even in us! 
A sort of planetary motion— 

260 ( 1883-1888 ) 

“Willing”: means willing an end. “An end” includes an 
evaluation. Whence come evaluations? Is their basis a firm norm, 
“pleasant” and “painful”? 

But in countless cases we first make a thing painful by invest- 
ing it with an evaluation. 

The extent of moral evaluations: they play a part in almost 
every sense impression. Our world is colored by them. 

We have invested things With ends arid Values: therefore we 
have in us an enormous fund of latent force: but by comparing 
values it appears that contradictory things have been accounted 
valuable, that many tables of value have existed (thus nothing is 
valuable “in itself”). 

Analysis of individual tables of value revealed that their 
erection was the erection of the conditions — often erroneous — of 
existence of a limited group — for its preservation. 

Observation of contemporary man reveals that we employ 
very diverse value judgments and that they no longer have any 
creative force — the basis, “the condition of existence,” is ribw 
missing from moral judgment. It is much more superfluous, it 
is not nearly so painful. — It becomes arbitrary. Chaos. 

Who creates the goal that stands above mankind and above 
the individual? Formerly one employed morality for preservation: 
but nobody wants to preserve any longer, there is nothing to pre- 
serve. Therefore an experimental morality : to give oneself a goal. 

261 ( 1883-1888 ) 

What is the criterion of a moral action? ( 1 ) its disinterested- 
ness, (2) its universal validity, etc. But this is armchair moralizing. 
One must study peoples to see what the criterion is in every case, 
and what is expressed by it: a belief that “such a scheme of 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 151 

behavior is one of the first conditions of our existence.” Immoral 
means “bringing destruction.” Now, all the communities in which 
these propositions are discovered have perished: certain of these 
propositions have been reaffirmed again and again because every 
new community that arose had need of them again; e.g., “Thou 
shall not steal.” In ages when it was impossible to demand any 
feeling for the community (e.g., in the imperium Romanum), the 
drive was directed to “salvation of soul,” in religious language: 
or “the greatest happiness,” in philosophical terms. For even the 
Greek moral philosophers no longer had any feeling for their 
polis. 53 


262 (1888) 

The necessity of false values . — One can refute a judgment 
by proving its conditionality: the need to retain it is not thereby 
removed. False values cannot be eradicated by reasons any more 
than astigmatism in the eyes of an invalid. One must grasp the 
need for their existence: they are a consequence of causes which 
have nothing to do with reasons, 

263 (1885) 

To see and to demonstrate the problem of morality — that 
seems to me the new principal task. I deny that it has been done 
in previous moral philosophy. 

264 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

How false, how mendacious mankind has always been about 
the basic facts of its inner world! To close one’s eyes to this, to 
speak and not to speak about that — 

265 (1885-1888) 

There is lacking a knowledge and consciousness of the revo- 
lutions that have already occurred in moral judgments, and of how 
fundamentally “evil” has several times been renamed “good.” 
I indicated one of these displacements with the term “morality of 


” City-state. 




152 


THE WILL TO POWER 


custom.” 84 Even conscience has changed its sphere: there used 
to be a pang of conscience of the herd. 

266 (1883-1886) 

A. Morality as the work of immorality. 

1. For moral values to gain dominion they must be as- 
sisted by lots of immoral forces and affects. 

2. The origin of moral values is the work of immoral 
affects and considerations. 

B. Morality as the work of error. 

C. Morality always contradicts itself. 

Requital. — Veracity, doubt, epoche , 8R judging. — The “im- 
morality” of belief in morality. 

The steps: 

1. absolute dominion of morality: all biological phe- 
nomena measured and judged by moral values. 

2. attempt to identify life with morality (symptom of an 
awakened skepticism: morality must no longer be felt 
as an antithesis); several means, even a transcendental 
way. 

3. opposition of life and morality: morality judged and 
condemned from the point of view of life. 

D. To what extent morality has been detrimental to life: 

a) to the enjoyment Of life, to gratitude towards 
life, etc., 

b) to the beautifying, ennobling of life, 

c) to knowledge of life, 

d) to the development of life, in so far as it sought 
to set the highest phenomena of life at variance 
with itself. 

E. Counter-reckoning: its usefulness for life. 

1. Morality as the principle that preserves the general 
whole, as a limitation upon its members: “the instru- 
ment.” 

2. Morality as the principle that preserves man from the 
inner peril of his passions: “the mediocre.” 

3. Morality as the principle that preserves man from the 

" Sittlichkeit der Sitte: cf. Dawn, sections 9, 14, 18, 33; Gay Science, 43, 
143, 149, 296; Genealogy, Preface and 11:2 and HI; 9. 

“ The suspension of judgment cultivated by the ancient skeptics. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 153 

life-destroying effects of profound misery and atrophy: 
“the suffering.” 

4. Morality as the principle that opposes the fearful out- 
bursts of the powerful: “the lowly.” 

267 ( 1885-1886 ) 

It is a good thing to take “right,” “wrong,” etc., in a definite, 
narrow, bourgeois sense, as in “Do right and fear no man”: i.e., to 
do one’s duty according to a definite rude scheme within which a 
community exists. 

— Let us not think meanly of that which two thousand years 
of morality have bred in our spirit! 

268 (Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

Two types of morality must not be confused: the morality 
with which the healthy instinct defends itself against incipient de- 
cadence — and another morality with which this very decadence 
defines and justifies itself and leads downwards. 

The former is usually stoical, hard, tyrannical ( — Stoicism 
itself was such a brake-shoe morality); the latter is enthusiastic, 
sentimental, full of secrets; it has the women and “beautiful feel- 
ings” on its side ( — primitive Christianity was such a morality). 

269 ( 1883-1888 ) 

To get the whole of moralizing into focus as a phenomenon. 
Also as a riddle. The phenomena of morality have occupied me 
like riddles. Today I would know how to answer the question: 
What does it mean that the welfare of my neighbor ought to 
possess for me a higher value than my own? but that my neighbor 
himself ought to assess the value of his welfare differently than I, 
that is, that he should subordinate it to my welfare? What is the 
meaning of that “Thou shalt,” which even philosophers regard as 
“given”? 

The apparently cra 2 y idea that a man should esteem the 
actions he performs for another more highly than those he per- 
forms for himself, and that this other should likewise, etc. (that 
one should call good only those actions that a man performs with 
an eye, not to himself, but to the welfare of another) has a mean- 



154 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ing: namely, as the social instinct resting on the valuation that the 
single individual is of little account, but all individuals together are 
of very great account provided they constitute a community with 
a common feeling and a common conscience. Therefore a kind of 
training in looking in a certain definite direction, the will to a 
perspective that seeks to make it impossible to see oneself. 

My idea: goals are lacking and these must be individuals’ ! 
We observe how things are everywhere: every individual is sacri- 
ficed and serves as a tool. Go into the street and you encounter 
lots of ‘“slaves.” Whither? For what? 

270 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

How is it possible that a man has respect for himself with 
regard to moral values alone, that he considers everything else 
subordinate and of little worth compared with good, evil, improve- 
ment, salvation of soul, etc.? e.g., Henri Fred. Amiel. 56 What is 
the meaning of the moral idiosyncrasy? — I mean in a psychological 
sense, also in a physiological sense; e.g., Pascal. That is, in cases 
where other great qualities were not lacking; also in the case of 
Schopenhauer, who obviously valued that which he did not and 
could not have — is it not the consequence of a merely habitual 
moral interpretation of actual states of pain and displeasure? is 
it not a definite kind of sensibility that does not understand the 
cause of its frequent feelings of displeasure but believes it explains 
them with moral hypotheses? So that even a transitory feeling of 
health and strength immediately appears, in the perspective of a 
“good conscience,” to be illumined by the nearness of God, by 
the consciousness of redemption? — 

Thus the man of moral idiosyncrasy has (1) either really 
acquired his worth through approximating society’s model of virtue: 
“the good man,” “the righteous” — a highly respectable condition of 
mediocrity: mediocre in all his abilities but decent, conscientious, 
solid, respected, trusty; (2) or he believes he has acquired it 
because he does not know how otherwise to understand all his 
states — he is unknown to himself, so he interpretcs himself in 
this way. — 

Morality as the only scheme of interpretation by which man 
can endure himself— a kind of pride? — 


"Swiss philosophy professor, critic, and poet (1821-1881). 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


155 


271 ( March-June 1888) 

The predominance of moral values . — Consequences of this 
predominance: the corruption of psychology, etc.; the universal 
fatality which follows from it. What does this predominance mean? 
What does it point to? — 

To a certain greater urgency for a definite Yes and No in this 
field. All kinds of imperatives have been employed to make moral 
values appear permanent: they have been commanded for the 
longest time: — they seem instinctive, like inner commands. Moral 
values reveal themselves to be conditions of the existence of society, 
in that they are felt to be beyond discussion. The practice, which 
is to say the utility, of agreement about the highest values has 
here acquired a kind of sanction. We observe that every means is 
employed to paralyze reflection and criticism in this field: — look 
at the attitude of Kant! not to speak of those who reject as im- 
moral all “inquiry” here — 

272 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

My purpose: to demonstrate the absolute homogeneity of all 
events and the application of moral distinctions as conditioned by 
perspective; to demonstrate how everything praised as moral is 
identical in essence with everything immoral and was made possible, 
as in every development of morality, with immoral means and 
for immoral ends — ; how, on the other hand, everything decried 
as immoral is, economically considered, higher and more essential, 
and how a development toward a greater fullness of life necessarily 
also demands the advance of immorality. “Truth” the extent to 
which we permit ourselves to understand this fact. 

273 ( 1883-1888 ) 

But don’t worry: for one needs a great deal of morality to be 
immoral in this subtle way; I will speak in a parable: 

A physiologist interested in a disease and an invalid who 
claims to be cured of it do not have identical interests. Let us 
suppose the disease is morality — for it is a disease — and that we 
Europeans are the invalids: what subtle torment and difficulties 
would arise if we Europeans were at the same time inquisitive 



156 


THE WILL TO POWER 


spectators and physiologists! Would we then really desire to be free 
of morality? Would we want to be? Quite apart from the question 
whether we could be. Whether we could be “cured.” — 


2. The Herd 

274 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Whose will to power is morality ? — The common factor in 
the history of Europe since Socrates is the attempt to make moral 
values dominate over all other values: so that they should be the 
guide and judge not only of life but also of (1) knowledge, (2) 
the arts, (3) political and social endeavors. “Improvement” the 
sole duty, everything else a means to it (or a disturbance, hin- 
drance, danger: consequently to be combatted to the point of anni- 
hilation — ). A similar movement in China. A similar movement 
in India. 

What is the meaning of this will to power on the part of moral 
values which has developed so tremendously on earth? 

Answer : — three powers are hidden behind it: (1) the in- 
stinct of the herd against the strong and independent; (2) the 
instinct of the suffering and underprivileged against the fortunate; 
(3) the instinct of the mediocre against the exceptional. — Enor- 
mous advantage possessed by this movement, however much cruelty, 
falseness, and narrow-mindedness have assisted it (for the history 
of the struggle of morality with the basic instincts of life is itself 
the greatest piece of immorality that has yet existed on earth — ). 

275 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Very few manage to see a problem in that which makes 
our daily life, that to which we have long since grown accustomed — 
our eyes are not adjusted to it: this seems to me to be the case 
especially in regard to our morality. 

The problem “every man as an object for others” is the 
occasion of the highest honors: for himself — no! 

The problem “thou shalt”: an inclination that cannot ex- 
plain itself, similar to the sexual drive, shall not fall under the 
general condemnation of the drives; on the contrary, it shall be 
their evaluation and judge! 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 157 

The problem of “equality,” while we all thirst after dis- 
stinction: here, on the contrary, we are supposed to make exactly 
the same demands on ourselves as we make on others. This is 
so insipid, so obviously crazy: but — it is felt to be holy, of a 
higher rank, the conflict with reason is hardly noticed. 

Sacrifice and selflessness as distinguishing, unconditional obe- 
dience to morality, and the faith that one is everyone’s equal before 
it. 

The neglect and surrender of well-being and life as distin- 
guishing, the complete renunciation of making one’s own evalua- 
tions, and the firm desire to see everyone else renounce them too. 
“The value of an action is determined: everyone is subject to this 
valuation.” 

We see: an authority speaks — who speaks? — One may 
forgive human pride if it sought to make this authority as high 
as possible in order to feel as little humiliated as possible under 
it. Therefore — God speaks! 

One needed God as an unconditional sanction, with no court 
of appeal, as a “categorical imperator” — : or, if one believed in 
the authority of reason, one needed a metaphysic of unity, by 
virtue of which this was logical. 

Now suppose that belief in God has vanished: the question 
presents itself anew: “who speaks?” — My answer, taken not from 
metaphysics but from animal physiology: the herd instinct speaks. 
It wants to be master: hence its “thou shalt!” — it will allow 
value to the individual only from the point of view of the whole, 
for the sake of the whole, it hates those who detach themselves — 
it turns the hatred of all individuals against them. 

276 ( 1886 - 1887 ) 

The whole of European morality is based upon what is use- 
ful to the herd: the affliction of all higher, rarer men lies in this, 
that everything that distinguishes them enters their consciousness 
accompanied by a feeling of diminution and discredit. The strong 
points of contemporary men are the causes of their pessimistic 
gloom: the mediocre are, like the herd, little troubled with 
questions and conscience — cheerful. (On the gloominess of the 
strong: Pascal, Schopenhauer.) 

The more dangerous a quality seems to the herd, the more 
thoroughly is it proscribed . 



158 


THE WILL TO POWER 


277 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Morality of truthfulness in the herd. “You shall be knowable, 
express your inner nature by clear and constant signs — otherwise 
you are dangerous: and if you are evil, your ability to dissimulate 
is the worst thing for the herd. We despise the secret and un- 
recognizable. — Consequently you must consider yourself know- 
able, you may not be concealed from yourself, you may not believe 
that you change.” Thus: the demand for truthfulness presupposes 
the knowability and stability of the person. In fact, it is the object 
of education to create in the herd member a definite faith concern- 
ing the nature of man: it first invents this faith and then demands 
“truthfulness.” 


278 (1885) 

Within a herd, within any community, that is to say inter 
pares, 57 the overestimation of truthfulness makes good sense. Not 
to be deceived — and consequently, as a personal point of morality, 
not to deceive! a mutual obligation between equals! In dealing 
with what lies outside, danger and caution demand that one 
should be on one’s guard against deception: as a psychological 
preconditioning for this, also in dealing with what lies within. 
Mistrust as the source of truthfulness. 

279 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Toward a critique of the herd virtues . — Inertia operates ( 1 ) 
in trustfulness, since mistrust makes tension, observation, reflection 
necessary; — (2) in veneration, where the difference in power 
is great and submission necessary: so as not to fear, an attempt is 
made to love, esteem, and to interpret the disparity in power as 
disparity in value: so that the relationship no longer makes one 
rebellious; — (3) in the sense of truth. What is true? Where an 
explanation is given which causes us the minimum of spiritual 
effort (moreover, lying is very exhausting); — (4) in sympathy. 
It is a relief to count oneself the same as others, to try to feel as 
they do, to adopt a current feeling: it is something passive com- 
pared with the activity that maintains and constantly practices 


” Among equals. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 159 

the individual’s right to value judgments (the latter allows of no 
rest); — (5) in impartiality and coolness of judgment: one shuns 
the exertion of affects and prefers to stay detached, “objective”; — 
(6) in integrity: one would rather obey an existing law than create 
a law oneself, than command oneself and others: the fear of 
commanding — : better to submit than to react; — (7) in toleration: 
the fear of exercising rights, of judging. 

280 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The instinct of the herd considers the middle and the mean as 
the highest and most valuable: the place where the majority finds 
itself; the mode and manner in which it finds itself. It is therefore 
an opponent of all orders of rank, it sees an ascent from beneath 
to above as a descent from the majority to the minority. The herd 
feels the exception, whether it be below or above it, as something 
opposed and harmful to it. Its artifice with reference to the ex- 
ceptions above it, the stronger, more powerful, wiser, and more 
fruitful, is to persuade them to assume the role of guardians, 
herdsmen, watchmen — to become its first servants: 69 it has there- 
with transformed a danger into something useful. Fear ceases in 
the middle: here one is never alone; here there is little room for 
misunderstanding; here there is equality; here one’s own form of 
being is not felt as a reproach but as the right form of being; here 
contentment rules. Mistrust is felt toward the exceptions; to be an 
exception is experienced as guilt. 

281 {March-1 une 1888) 

When, following the instinct of the community, we make 
prescriptions and forbid ourselves certain actions, we quite reason- 
ably do not forbid a mode of “being,” a “disposition,” but only a 
certain direction and application of this “being,” this “disposition.” 
But then the ideologist of virtue, the moralist, comes along and 
says: “God sees into the heart! What does it matter if you refrain 
from certain actions: you are no better for that!” Answer: My 
dear Sir Long-Ears-and-Virtuous, we have no desire whatever to 
be better, we are very contented with ourselves, all we desire is 
not to harm one another — and therefore we forbid certain actions 

* Frederick the Great (King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786) called him- 
self “the first servant of my state.” 




160 


the will to power 


when they are directed in a certain way, namely against us, while 
we cannot sufficiently honor these same actions provided they 
are directed against enemies of the community — against you, for 
instance. We educate our children in them; we cultivate them — 
If we shared that “God-pleasing” radicalism that your holy madness 
recommends, if we were fools enough to condemn together with 
those actions the source of them, the “heart,” the “disposition,” 
that would mean condemning our own existence and with it its 
supreme prerequisite — a disposition, a heart, a passion we honor 
with the highest honors. By our decrees, we prevent this dispo- 
sition from breaking out and expressing itself in an inexpedient way 
— we are prudent when we make such law for ourselves, we are 
also moral — Have you no suspicion, however faint, what sacrifice 
it is costing us, how much taming, self-overcoming, severity 
toward ourselves it requires? We are vehement in our desires, 
there are times when we would like to devour each other — But 
the “sense of community” masters us: please note that this is 
almost a definition of morality. 

282 ( Fall 1888) 

The weakness of the herd animal produces a morality very 
similar to that produced by the weakness of the decadent: they 
understand one another, they form an alliance ( — the great 
decadence religions always count on the support of the herd). In 
itself, there is nothing sick about the herd animal, it is even in- 
valuable; but, incapable of leading itself, it needs a “shepherd” — 
the priests understand that — The state is not intimate, not clan- 
destine enough; “directing the conscience” eludes it. And that is 
how the herd animal has been made sick by the priest? — 

283 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Hatred for the privileged in body and soul: revolt of the 
ugly, ill-constituted souls against the beautiful, proud, joyous. Their 
means: inculpation of beauty, pride, joy: “there is no merit," “the 
danger is tremendous: one should tremble and feel ill,” “natural- 
ness is evil; it is right to oppose nature.” Also “reason.” (The anti- 
natural as the higher). 

Again it is the priests who exploit this condition and win the 
“people” over. “The sinner” in whom God has more joy than in 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 161 

the “just man.” This is the struggle against “paganism” (the pang 
of conscience as the means of destroying harmony of soul). 

The hatred of the average for the exceptional, of the herd 
for the independent. (Custom as true “morality.” 38 ) Turning 
against “egoism”: only the “for another” has value. “We are 
all equal”; — against lust for dominion, against “dominion” in 
general; — against privilege; — against sectarians, free spirits, 
skeptics; — against philosophy (as opposing the tool-and-corner 
instinct); with philosophers themselves “the categorical impera- 
tive,” the essence of morality “universal and general.” 

284 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The conditions and desires that are praised : — peaceable, 
fair, moderate, modest, reverent, considerate, brave, chaste, honest, 
faithful, devout, straight, trusting, devoted, sympathetic, helpful, 
conscientious, simple, mild, just, generous, indulgent, obedient, 
disinterested, unenvious, gracious, industrious — 

To distinguish: to what extent such qualities are conditioned 
as means to a definite aim and end (often an “evil” end); or as 
natural consequences of a dominating affect (e.g., spirituality) or 
expression of a state of distress, which is to say: as condition of 
existence (e.g., citizen, slave, woman, etc.). 

Summa: they are none of them felt to be “good” for their 
own sake, but from the first according to the standards of “society,” 
“the herd,” as means to the ends of society and the herd, as neces- 
sary to their preservation and advancement, at the same time as the 
consequence of an actual herd instinct in the individual: thus 
in the service of an instinct which is fundamentally different from 
these conditions of virtue. For the herd is, in relation to the out- 
side world, hostile, selfish, unmerciful, full of lust for dominion, 
mistrust, etc. 

In the “shepherd” this antagonism becomes patent: he must 
possess opposite qualities to the herd. 

Mortal enmity of the herd toward orders of rank: its instinct 
favors the leveller (Christ). Toward strong individuals ( les souve- 
rains) it is hostile, unfair, immoderate, immodest, impudent, in- 
considerate, cowardly, mendacious, false, unmerciful, underhand, 
envious, revengeful. 

” Die Sitte als eigentliche " Sittlichkeit mores as the essence of moral- 
ity. Cf. section 265 above. 




162 


THE WILL TO POWER 


285 (1884) 

I teach: the herd seeks to preserve one type and defends itself 
on both sides, against those who have degenerated from it (crim- 
inals, etc.) and those who tower above it. The tendency of the herd 
is directed toward standstill and preservation, there is nothing 
creative in it. 

The pleasant feelings with which the good, benevolent, just 
man inspires us (in contrast to the tension, fear which the great, 
new man arouses) are our own feelings of personal security and 
equality: the herd animal thus glorifies the herd nature and then it 
feels comfortable. This judgment of comfort masks itself with fair 
words — thus “morality” arises. — But observe the hatred of the 
herd for the truthful. — 


286 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Let one not be deceived about oneself! If one hears within 
oneself the moral imperative as it is understood by altruism, one 
belongs to the herd. If one has the opposite feeling, if one feels 
one’s danger and abberration lies in disinterested and selfless 
actions, one does not belong to the herd. 

287 (1883-1888) 

My philosophy aims at an ordering of rank: not at an in- 
dividualistic morality . e# The ideas of the herd should rule in the 
herd — but not reach out beyond it: the leaders of the herd require 
a fundamentally different valuation for their own actions, as do the 
independent, or the “beasts of prey,” etc. 

3. General Remarks on Morality 

288 ( March-June 1888) 

Morality as an attempt to establish human pride . — The theory 
of “free will” is antireligious. It seeks to create the right for man to 
think of himself as cause of his exalted state and actions: it is a 
form of the growing feeling of pride. 


"Cf. section 361. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 163 

Man feels his power, his “happiness,” as they say: there must 
be “will” behind this state — otherwise it would not be his. Virtue 
is the attempt to set the fact of willing and having-willed before 
every exalted and strong feeling of happiness as a necessary ante- 
cedent: — if the will to certain actions is regularly present in the 
consciousness, a feeling of power may be interpreted as its effect. — 
This is merely a perspective of psychology: always based on the 
false presupposition that nothing belongs to us that we have not 
consciously willed. The entire theory of responsibility depends 
upon the naive psychology that the only cause is will and that 
one must be aware of having willed in order to believe in oneself 
as cause. 

— Comes the countermovement: that of the moral philos- 
ophers, still subject to the same prejudice that one is responsible 
only for what one has willed. The value of man is posited as a 
moral value: consequently his morality must be a causa primal 1 
consequently there must be a principle in man, a “free will” as 
causa prima . — The idea behind it is: if man is not causa prima as 
will, then he is irresponsible — consequently he has no business 
before the moral tribunal — virtue and vice would be automatic 
and mechanical — 

In summa: so that man may respect himself he must be capable 
of doing evil, 


289 ( March-June 1888) 

Play-acting as a consequence of the morality of “free will.” — 
It is a step in the development of the feeling of power itself to have 
caused one’s own exalted states (one’s perfection) — consequently, 
one immediately concludes, to have willed them — 

(Critique: All perfect acts are unconscious and no longer 
subject to will; consciousness is the expression of an imperfect and 
often morbid state in a person. Personal perfection as conditioned 
by will, as consciousness, as reasoning with dialectics, is a carica- 
ture, a kind of self-contradiction — A degree of consciousness 
makes perfection impossible — Form of play-acting.) 

290 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The moral hypothesis with the object of justifying God was: 


*’ First cause. 




164 


THE WILL TO POWER 


evil must be voluntary (merely so that the voluntariness of good- 
ness can be believed in), and on the other hand: the object of 
evil and suffering is salvation. 

The concept “guilt” as not extending back to the ultimate 
ground of existence, and the concept “punishment” as an educative 
benefit, consequently as the act of a good God. 

Absolute dominion of moral valuation over all others: one 
did not doubt that God could not be evil and could not do any- 
thing harmful, i.e., by “perfection” one meant merely a moral 
perfection. 


291 {March- June 1888 ) 

How false is the idea that the value of an action must depend 
upon that which preceded it in consciousness! — And morality has 
been judged according to this, even criminality — 

The value of an action must be judged by its consequences — 
say the Utilitarians — : to judge it by its origins implies an impossi- 
bility, namely that of knowing its origins. 

But does one know its consequences? For five steps ahead, 
perhaps. Who can say what an action will stimulate, excite, pro- 
voke? As a stimulus? Perhaps as a spark to touch off an explo- 
sion? — The Utilitarians are naive — And in any case we must 
first know what is useful: here too they look only five steps 
ahead — They have no conception of the grand economy, which 
cannot do without evil. 

One does not know the origin, one does not know the conse- 
quences: — does an action then possess any value at all? 

The action itself remains: its epiphenomena in consciousness, 
the Yes and the No that follow its performance: does the value 
of an action lie in its subjective epiphenomena? ( — that would 
be like assessing the value of the music according to the pleasure 
or displeasure it gives us — it gives its composer — ). Obviously 
value feelings accompany it, a feeling of power, compulsion, impo- 
tence; e.g,, freedom, ease — put in another way: could one reduce 
the value of an action to physiological values: whether it is the 
expression of a complete or an inhibited life? 02 — It may be that 


" In all editions the immediately following words in the MS have been 
omitted: “is it permitted to measure its value according to epiphenomena, 
such as pleasure and displeasure, the play of the affects, the feeling of dis- 
charges, explosion, freedom. . , Also the following words at the end of 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 165 

its biological value is expressed in this — 

If therefore an action can be evaluated neither by its origin, 
nor by its consequences, nor by its epiphenomena, then its value 
is “x,” unknown — 


292 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

On the denaturalization of morality. To separate the action 
from the man; to direct hatred or contempt against the “sin”; to 
believe there are actions that are good or bad in themselves. 63 

Restoration of “nature”: an action in itself is perfectly devoid 
of value: it all depends on who performs it. One and the same 
“crime” can be in one case the greatest privilege, in another a 
stigma. In fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets 
an action, or its performer, in relation to its utility or harmfulness 
to themselves ( — or in relation to its similarity or unlikeness to 
them) . 


293 ( March-June 1888) 

The concept “reprehensible action” presents us with difficul- 
ties. Nothing that happened at all can be reprehensible in itself: 
for one should not want to eliminate it: for everything is so bound 
up with everything else, that to want to exclude something means 
to exclude everything. A reprehensible action means: a repre- 
hended world — 

And then further: in a reprehended world reprehending would 
also be reprehensible — And the consequence of a way of thinking 
that reprehended everything would be a way of living that affirmed 
everything — If becoming is a great ring, then everything is equally 
valuable, eternal, necessary. — In all correlations of Yes and No, 
of preference and rejection, love and hate, all that is expressed is 
a perspective, an interest of certain types of life: in itself, every- 
thing that is says Yes. 


294 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Critique of subjective value feelings . — The conscience. For- 

this section: "In sum, in the language of the church hymn: ‘crawl, fly, and 
creep upon God’s ways [Kreucli, fleuch und schleich auf Gottes Wegen].’ ” 
” Thus in the MS. In all editions: “It is a denaturalization of morality 
to. . . .” 



166 THE WILL TO POWER 

merly one concluded: the conscience reprehends this action; 
consequently this action is reprehensible. In fact, the. conscience 
reprehends an action because it has been reprehended for a long 
time. It merely repeats: it creates no values. That which in the past 
decided to reprehend certain actions was not conscience: but the 
insight into (or the prejudice against) their consequences — 

The assent of the conscience, the pleasant feeling of “at 
peace with oneself,” is of the same order as the pleasure of an 
artist in his work — it proves nothing at all — 

Self-contentment is as little a standard for that to which it 
relates as its absence is an argument against the value of a thing. 
We do not know nearly enough to be able to measure the value 
of our actions: in addition, it is impossible for us to be objective 
about them: even when we reprehend an action, we are not judges 
but interested parties — 

If noble agitation accompanies an action, this proves noth- 
ing about its value: an artist can go through the highest possible 
pathos of passion and bring forth something wretched. One should 
say rather that these agitations are a means of seduction: they 
lure our eyes, our strength away from criticism, from caution, from 
suspicion, so that we perpetrate a stupidity — they make us stupid — 

295 {1885-1886) 

We are the heirs of the conscience-vivisection and self-cruci- 
fixion of two millennia: in these we have had longest practice, in 
these lies our mastery perhaps, certainly our subtlety; we have 
conjoined the natural inclinations and a bad conscience. 

A reverse attempt would be possible: to conjoin the unnatural 
inclinations, I mean the inclination for the beyond, for things con- 
trary to sense, reason, nature, in short all previous ideals, which 
were all world-slandering ideals, with a bad conscience. 

296 {Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The great crimes in psychology: 

1. that all displeasure, all misfortune has been falsified with 
the idea of wrong (guilt). (Pain has been robbed of innocence); 

2. that all strong feelings of pleasure (wild spirits, voluptu- 
ousness, triumph, pride, audacity, knowledge, self-assurance and 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 167 

happiness as such) have been branded as sinful, as a seduction, 
as suspicious; 

3. that feelings of weakness, inward acts of cowardice, lack 
of courage for oneself have been overlaid with sanctifying names 
and taught as being desirable in the highest degree; 

4. that everything great in man has been reinterpreted as 
selflessness, as self-sacrifice for the sake of something else, some- 
one else, that even in the man of knowledge, even in the artist, 
depersonalization has been presented as the cause of the greatest 
knowledge and ability; 

5. that love has been falsified as surrender (and altruism), 
while it is an appropriation or a bestowal following from a super- 
abundance of personality. Only the most complete persons can 
love; the depersonalized, the “objective,” are the worst lovers 
( — one has only to ask the girls!) This applies also to love of 
God or of “fatherland”; one must be firmly rooted in oneself. 
(Egoism as ego-morphism, altruism as alter- ation. 64 

6. Life as punishment (happiness as temptation); the pas- 
sions as devilish, confidence in oneself as godless. 

This whole psychology is a psychology of prevention, a kind 
of immuring out of fear; on one hand the great masses (the under- 
privileged and mediocre) seek to defend themselves by means of 
it against the stronger ( — and to destroy them in their develop- 
ment — ), on the other all the drives through which they best 
prosper, sanctified and alone held in honor. Compare the Jewish 
priesthood. 


297 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The vestiges of debasement of nature through moral tran- 
scendence: value of selflessness, cult of altruism; belief in repay- 
ment within the play of consequences; belief in “goodness,” in 
“genius” even, as if the one and the other were consequences of 
selflessness; the continuance of the ecclesiastical sanction of bour- 
geois life; absolute desire to misunderstand history (as an educative 
work toward moralization) or pessimism in the face of history 
( — the latter as much a consequence of the debasement of nature 
as that pseudo justification, as that not desiring to see that which 
the pessimist sees — ). 


" Yer-Ichlichung . . . Vev-Aenderung. English “equivalents” mine. 



168 


THE WILL TO POWER 


298 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

“Morality for morality’s sake” — an important step in its 
denaturalization: it itself appears as the ultimate value. In this 
phase it has permeated religion: e.g., in Judaism. And there is 
likewise a phase in which it separates itself again from religion 
and in which no God is “moral” enough for it: it then prefers 
the impersonal ideal — This is the case at present. 

“Art for art’s sake” — this is an equally dangerous principle: 
therewith one introduces a false antithesis into things — it culmi- 
nates in a defamation of reality (“idealization” into the ugly). If 
one severs an ideal from reality one debases the real, one impov- 
erishes it, one defames it. “The beautiful for the sake of the 
beautiful,” “the true for the sake of the true,” “the good for the 
sake of the good” — these are three forms of evil eye for the real. 

— Art, knowledge, morality are means : instead of recogniz- 
ing in them the aim of enhancing life, one has associated them 
with the antithesis of life, with “God” — also as the revelation of a 
higher world which here and there looks down upon us through 
them — 

“Beautiful and ugly,” “true and false,” “good and evil” — 
these distinctions and antagonisms betray certain conditions of 
existence and enhancement, not only of man but of any kind of 
firm and enduring complex which separates itself from its adver- 
sary. The war that is thus created is the essential element: as a 
means of separation that strengthens isolation — 

299 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Moralistic naturalism: the tracing back of apparently emanci- 
pated, supranatural moral values to their “nature”: i.e., to natural 
immorality, to natural “utility,” etc. 

I might designate the tendency of these reflections as moral- 
istic naturalism: my task is to translate the apparently emancipated 
and denatured moral values back into their nature — i.e., into their 
natural “immorality.” 

— N.B. Comparison with Jewish “holiness” and its natural 
basis: it is the same with the moral law made sovereign, emanci- 
pated from its nature ( — to the point of becoming the antithesis 
of nature — ). 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


169 


Steps in the denaturalization of morality (so-called 
“idealization”) : 

as a way to individual happiness, 
as a consequence of knowledge, 
as the categorical imperative, 
as a way to salvation, 
as denial of the will to live. 

(The gradual hostility to life of morality.) 

300 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Suppressed and effaced heresy in morality. — Concepts: 
pagan, master morality, virtu. 


301 ( 1885-1886 ) 

My problem: What harm has come to mankind through 
morals and through its morality? Harm to the spirit, etc. 

302 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

If only human values would be put back once and for all into 
the places in which alone they belong: as loafers’ values. Many 
species of animals have already vanished; if man too should vanish 
nothing would be lacking in the world. One must be sufficient of 
a philosopher to admire this nothing, too ( — Nil admirari) . 8 ® 

303 ( Spring 1888) 

Man a little, eccentric species of animal, which — fortunately 
— has its day; all on earth a mere moment, an incident, an excep- 
tion without consequences, something of no importance to the 
general character of the earth; the earth itself, like every star, a 
hiatus between two nothingnesses, an event without plan, reason, 
will, self-consciousness, the worst kind of necessity, stupid neces- 
sity — Something in us rebels against this view; the serpent vanity 
says to us: “all that must be false, for it arouses indignation — 
Could all that not be merely appearance? And man, in spite of 
all, as Kant says — ” 

* Admire nothing — usually quoted in the sense of “wonder at nothing” 
(from Horace, Epistles, 1.6.1. ). 



170 


THE WILL TO POWER 


4. How Virtue Is Made to Dominate 

304 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Of the ideal of the moralists . 60 — This treatise deals with the 
grand politics of virtue. It is intended for the use of those whose 
interest must lie in learning, riot how one becomes virtuous, but 
how one makes virtuous — how virtue is made to dominate. I even 
intend to prove that to desire the one— the domination of virtue — 
one absolutely must not desire the other; one automatically 
renounces becoming virtuous oneself. This is a great sacrifice: but 
such a goal is perhaps sufficient reward for such a sacrifice. And 
for even greater sacrifices! — And some of the most famous moral- 
ists have risked as much. For they had already recognized and 
anticipated the truth, which is in this treatise to be taught for the 
first time, that one can achieve the domination of virtue only by 
the same means as those by which one can achieve domination of 
any kind, in any case not by means of virtue — 

This treatise, as already stated, deals with the politics of 
virtue: it posits an ideal of these politics, it describes them as 
they would have to be, if anything on this earth could be perfect. 
Now, no philosopher will be in any doubt as to the type Of per- 
fection in politics; that is Machiavellianism. But Machiavellianism 
pur, sans melange, cfu, vert, dans toute sa force, dans toute son 
dprete 61 is superhuman, divine, transcendental, it will never be 
achieved by man, at most approximated. Even in this narrower 
kind of politics, in the politics of virtue, the ideal seems never to 
have been achieved. Even Plato barely touched it. One discovers, 
if one has eyes for hidden things, traces in even the most Unpreju- 

“ In the MS this section begins: “Of great things one should not speak 
at all or speak with greatness: with greatness — i.e., cynically and with inno- 
cence.” 

In the standard editions these words are omitted, obviously to avoid 
duplication of the section the German editors placed at the beginning of 
The Will to Power. Schlechta ignores 1911 (p. 503) and reproduces the 
printed versions, not the text of the MS. 

Plainly, this is a draft Nietzsche rejected. And it should be compared 
with Twilight, Chapter VII, section 5 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 509-511), 
and, e.g., section 142 above. 

" Pure, without admixture, crude, fresh, with all its force, with all its 
pungency. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 171 

diced and conscious moralists (and that is indeed the name for 
such politicians of morality, for every kind of founder of new 
moral forces) that show that they too have paid their tribute to 
human weakness. They all aspired, at least when they were weary, 
to virtue for themselves: first and capital error for a moralist — 
who must as such be an immoralist in practice. That he must not 
appear to be so is another matter. Or rather, it is not another 
matter: such a fundamental self-denial (in moral terms, dissimula- 
tion) is part of the canon of the moralist and his most specific 
duties: without it he will never attain to his kind of perfection. 
Freedom from morality, also from truth for the sake of that goal 
that outweighs every sacrifice: for the sake of the domination of 
virtue — that is the canon. Moralists need the gestures of virtue, 
also the gestures of truth; their error begins only when they yield 
to virtue, when they lose domination over virtue, when they 
themselves become moral, become true. A great moralist is, among 
other things, necessarily a great actor; his danger is that his dis- 
simulation may unintentionally become nature, while it is his ideal 
to keep his esse and his operari 08 in a divine way apart; every- 
thing he does must be done sub specie boni 69 — a high, remote, 
exacting ideal! A divine ideal! And indeed, it is said that the 
moralist imitates in that no less a model than God himself: God, 
the greatest of all immoralists in practice, who nonetheless knows 
how to remain what he is, the good God — 

305 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

One cannot establish the domination of virtue by means of 
virtue itself; with virtue itself one renounces power, loses the will 
to power. 


306 (1 883-1 886y° 

The victory of a moral ideal is achieved by the same “im- 
moral” means as every victory: force, lies, slander, injustice. 

“ His being and his operating. 

* With the appearance of goodness. 

"In the MS, on the margin: riicksichtlose Rechtschaffenheit, which 
might be rendered as "unsparing honesty.” 


172 


THE WILL TO POWER 


307 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

He who knows how all fame originates will be mistrustful 
even of the fame virtue enjoys. 

308 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Morality is just as “immoral” as any other thing on earth; 
morality is itself a form of immorality; 

The great liberation this insight brings. Contradiction is re- 
moved from things, the homogeneity of all events is saved — 

309 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

There are those who go looking for immorality. When they 
judge: “This is wrong,” they believe one should abolish and change 
it. I, on the contrary, cannot rest as long as I am not yet clear 
about the immorality of a thing. When I unearth it I recover my 
equanimity. 


310 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

a. The paths to power: to introduce a new virtue under the 
name of an old one — to excite “interest” in it (“happiness” as 
its consequence and vice versa) — the art of slandering what stands 
in its way — to exploit advantages and accidents for its glorification 
— to turn its followers into fanatics by means of sacrifice and 
separation; — grand symbolism. 

b. Power attained: (1) virtue as force; (2) virtue as seduc- 
tion; (3) virtue as (court) etiquette. 

311 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

By which means does a virtue come to power? — By exactly 
the same means as a political party: the slandering, inculpation, 
undermining of virtues that oppose it and are already in power, 
by rebaptizing them, by systematic persecution and mockery. 
Therefore: through sheer “immorality.” 

What does a desire do with itself to become a virtue? — 
Rebaptism; systematic denial of its objectives; practice in self- 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 173 

misunderstanding; alliance with existing and recognized virtues; 
ostentatious hostility against their opponents. Where possible it 
purchases the protection of sanctifying powers; it intoxicates, it 
inspires; the tartuffery of idealism; it forms a party which must 
either conquer with it or perish — it becomes unconscious, naive — 


312 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Cruelty has been refined to tragic pity, so that it is denied 
the name of cruelty. In the same way sexual love has been refined 
to amour-passion', the slavish disposition to Christian obedience; 
wretchedness to humility; a pathological condition of the nervus 
sympathicus, e.g., to pessimism, Pascalism, or Carlylism, etc. 

313 (March-June 1888 ) 

It would arouse doubts in us concerning a man if we heard 
he needed reasons for remaining decent: certainly, we would avoid 
him. The little word “for” can be compromising in certain cases; 
one can even refute oneself now and then with a single “for.” 71 
Now, if we hear further that such an aspirant to virtue needed 
bad reasons for remaining respectable, this would be no reason for 
us to feel an increased respect for him. But he goes further, he 
comes to us and tells us to our face: “Unbeliever, you are dis- 
turbing my morality with your unbelief; as long as you do not 
believe in my bad reasons, which is to say in God, in a punish- 
ment in the beyond, in freedom of will, you hamper my virtue — 
Moral: unbelievers must be abolished: they hamper the moraliza- 
tion of the masses.” 

314 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

Our most sacred convictions, the unchanging elements in our 
supreme values, are judgments of our muscles. 

315 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Morality in the valuation of races and classes . — In view of 
the fact that the affects and fundamental drives in every race and 


" Cf. The Antichrist, section 45. 




174 


THE WILL TO POWER 


class express something of the conditions of their existence ( — at 
least of the conditions under which they have prevailed for the 
longest time), to desire that they should be “virtuous” means: 

that they change their character, shed their skin and blot out 
their past: 

means that they should cease to be distinct: 

means that they should begin to resemble one another in their 
needs and demands — more clearly: that they should perish — 

The will to a single morality is thereby proved to be a tyranny 
over other types by that type whom this single morality fits: it is a 
destruction or a leveling for the sake of the ruling type (whether 
to render the others no longer fearsome or to render them useful). 
“Abolition of slavery” — supposedly a tribute to “human dignity,” 
in fact a destruction of a fundamentally different type ( — the 
undermining of its values and happiness—) . 

The qualities in which an opposing race or class is strong are 
interpreted as its most evil, worst qualities: for it is with those that 
it can harm us ( — its “virtues” are defamed and rebaptized — ). 

It counts as an objection against a man or people if they harm 
us: but from their point of view we are desirable, because we are 
such as one can make use of. 

The demand for “humanization” (which quite naively believes 
itself to possess the formula for “what is human?”) is a tartuffery, 
behind which a quite definite type of man seeks to attain domina- 
tion: more exactly, a quite definite instinct, the herd instinct. — 
“Human equality”: which is concealed behind the tendency to 
make men more and more alike. 

“Interestedness” with reference to communal morality. (Arti- 
fice: to transform the great passions of lust for power and posses- 
sions into protectors of virtue). 

To what extent all kinds of businessmen and the avaricious, 
all who have to give and claim credit, find it necessary to become 
more and more alike in character and in conception of value: 
world trade and exchange of every kind extorts and, as it were, 
buys virtue. 

The same applies to the state and to every kind of rule by 
means of officials and soldiers; likewise science, in order to work 
in security and with economy of its forces. — Likewise the priest- 
hood. 

— Here, therefore, a communal morality is enforced because 
it procures an advantage; and to make it victorious, war and force 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 175 

are practiced against immorality — with what “right”? With no 
right whatever: but in accordance with the instinct for self-preser- 
vation. These same classes make use of immorality when it serves 
their purpose. 


316 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The hypocritical show with which all civil institutions are 
whitewashed, as if they were products of morality — e.g., marriage; 
work; one’s profession; the fatherland; the family; order; law. But 
since they are one and all founded on the most mediocre type of 
man, as protection against exceptions and exceptional needs, it is 
only to be expected that they are full of lies. 

317 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev, Spring-Fall 1888) 

One should defend virtue against the preachers of virtue: 
they are its worst enemies. For they teach virtue as an ideal for 
everyone ; they take from virtue the charm of rareness, inimitable- 
ness, exceptionalness and unaverageness — its aristocratic magic. 
One should also take a stand against the obdurate idealists who 
eagerly knock on all vessels and are satisfied when they ring 
hollow: what naivete to demand the great and rare and then to 
establish, with rage and misanthropy, that they are absent! — It 
is obvious, e.g., that a marriage is worth as much as those whom 
it joins together, i.e., that in general it will be something wretched 
and inept: no priest, no mayor can make anything else of it. 

Virtue has all the instincts of the average man against it: it 
is unprofitable, imprudent, it isolates; it is related to passion and 
not very accessible to reason; it spoils the character, the head, the 
mind — according to the standards of mediocre men; it rouses to 
enmity toward order, toward the lies that are concealed in every 
order, institution, actuality — it is the worst of vices, if one judges 
it by its harmful effect upon others. 

— I recognize virtue in that ( I ) it does not desire to be recog- 
nized; (2) it does not presuppose virtue everywhere, but precisely 
something else; (3) it does not suffer from the absence of virtue, 
but on the contrary regards this as the distancing relationship on 
the basis of which there is something to honor in virtue; it does 
not communicate itself; (4) it does not propagandize — (5) it 
permits no one to judge it, because it is always virtue for itself; 



176 


THE WILL TO POWER 


(6) it does precisely all that is generally forbidden: virtue, as I 
understand it, is the real vetitum 72 within all herd legislation; 

(7) in short, it is virtue in the style of the Renaissance, virtu, 
moraline-free virtue. 73 

318 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Above all, gentlemen of virtue, you are not our superiors: 
we should like you to be a little more modest: it is a miserable 
self-interest and prudence that suggests your virtue to you. And 
if you had more strength and courage in you, you would not 
reduce yourselves to virtuous nonentities in this way. You make 
what you can of yourselves: partly what you must — what your 
circumstances force you to-r—partly what gives you pleasure, 
partly what seems useful to you. But if you do only what is in 
keeping with your inclinations, or what necessity demands of you, 
or what is useful to you, then you should neither praise yourselves 
nor let others praise you! — One is a thoroughly small type of man 
if one is only virtuous: do not be misled about that! Men who 
have been in any way notable were never such virtuous asses: 
their innermost instinct, that of their quantum of power, did not 
find satisfaction that way: while, with your minimum of power, 
nothing can seem wiser to you than virtue; But you have numbers 
on your side; and in so far as you play the tyrant, we shall make 
war on you — 


319 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

A virtuous man is a lower species because he is not a “per- 
son” but acquires his value by conforming to a pattern of man that 
is fixed once and for all. He does not possess his value apart: he can 
be compared, he has his equals, he must not be an individual — 
Reckon up the qualities of the good man: why do they give 
us pleasure? Because we have no need to fight against them, be- 
cause they impose upon us no mistrust, no need for caution, no 
marshalling of forces and severity: our laziness, good nature, 
frivolity, have a good time. It is this pleasant feeling in us that 

” What is forbidden. 

” The coinage of a man who neither smoked nor drank coffee; cf. The 
Antichrist, section 2. 




BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 177 

we project out of us and bestow upon the good man as a quality, 
as a value. 


320 (1888) 

Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable 
form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that 
account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. 
A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible 
in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a 
smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely 
in the “hands of God”; and when it maintains this proposition 
with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make 
four, We others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb 
this pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, 
people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could 
not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness 
into the heart of things (the old God, deus my ops, 7 * still lives 
among them!); we others — we read something else into the heart 
of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, 
more painful, more mistrustful wisdom. 

321 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

He who finds virtue easy also laughs at it. It is impossible 
to maintain seriousness in virtue: one attains it and leaps beyond it 
— whither? into devilry. 

In the meantime, how intelligent all our wicked tendencies 
and impulses have become! how much scientific inquisitiveness 
plagues them! So many fishhooks of knowledge! 

322 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

— To associate vice so closely with something decidedly pain- 
ful that at last one flees from vice in order to be rid of that which 
is associated with it. This is the famous case of Tannhauser. Driven 
out of patience by Wagnerian music, Tannhauser can no longer 
endure it even with Frau Venus: suddenly virtue acquires a charm; 


M Myopic god. 




178 


THE WILL TO POWER 


a Thuringian virgin increases in value; and, to tell the worst, he 
even enjoys Wolfram von Eschenbach’s tune — 

323 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The patrons of virtue , — Avarice, lust to rule, laziness, sim- 
plicity, fear: all have an interest in die cause of virtue: that is 
why it stands so firm. 


324 (, Spring-Fall 1887) 

Virtue is no longer believed in, its power of attraction is gone; 
to restore it, someone would have to know how to take it to market 
as an unfamiliar form of adventure and excess. It demands too 
much extravagance and narrow-mindedness of its believers not to 
have the conscience against it today. To be sure, precisely that may 
constitute its new charm for unconscionable and totally unscrupu- 
lous people: — it is now what it never was before, a vice. 

325 {Jan.-Fall 1888) 

Virtue is still the most expensive vice: it should remain so! 

326 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Virtues are as dangerous as vices in so far as one lets them 
rule over one as authorities and laws from without and does not 
first produce them out of oneself, as one should do, as one’s most 
personal self-defense and necessity, as conditions of precisely our 
own existence and growth, which we recognize and acknowledge 
independently of whether other men grow with us under similar 
or different conditions. This law of the dangerousness of imperson- 
ally understood, objective virtue applies also to modesty: many of 
the choicest spirits perish through it. The morality of modesty is 
the worst form of softening for those souls for which it makes sense 
that they should become hard in time. 

327 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

One should reduce and limit the realm of morality step by 
step: one should bring to light and honor the names of the instincts 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 179 

that are really at work here after they have been hidden for so 
long beneath hypocritical names of virtue; out of respect for one’s 
“honesty,” which speaks more and more imperiously, one should 
unlearn the shame that would like to deny and lie away one’s 
natural instincts. It is a measure of strength how far one can divest 
oneself of virtue; and a height can be imagined where the concept 
“virtue” is so understood that it sounds like virtii, Renaissance 
virtue, moraline-free virtue. 75 But in the meantime — how distant 
we are from this ideal! 

The reduction of the domain of morality: a sign of the 
progress of this ideal. Wherever one has not yet been capable of 
causal thinking, one has thought morally. 


328 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

In the end: what have I achieved? Let us not hide from our- 
selves this most curious result: I have imparted to virtue a new 
charm— the charm of something forbidden. It has our subtlest 
honesty against it, it is spiced “cum grano salis’ m of the sting of 
scientific conscience; it smells old-fashioned and antique, so that 
at last it lures the refined and makes them inquisitive — in short, 
it appears as a vice. Only after we have recognized everything as 
lies and appearance do we regain the right to this fairest of false- 
hoods, virtue. There is no court of appeal left that could deny 
it to us: only by exhibiting virtue as a form of immorality do we 
again justify it — it is classified and compared with reference to 
its fundamental significance, it is part of the fundamental im- 
morality of all existence — as a form of luxury of the first order, 
the haughtiest, dearest and rarest form of vice. We have removed 
its scowl and its cowl, we have rescued it from the importunity of 
the many, we have taken from it its absurd rigidity, its vacant 
expression, its stiff false hair, its hieratic muscular system. 

329 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888 ) 

Have I thereby harmed virtue?^ — As little as the anarchists 
harm princes: only since they have been shot at do they sit securely 
on their thrones again — For thus has it ever been and always will 


”Cf. section 317 above. 
" With a grain of salt. 


180 


THE WILL TO POWER 


be: one cannot serve a cause better than by persecuting it and 
hunting it down — This — is what I have done . 77 


5. The Moral Ideal 

A. Critique of Ideals 

330 ( 1886 - 1887 ) 

To tackle this in such a way as to abolish the word “ideal”: 
critique of desiderata. 


331 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Very few are clear as to what the standpoint of desirability, 
every “thus it should be but is not” or even “thus it should have 
been,” comprises: a condemnation of the total course of things. 
For in this course nothing exists in isolation: the smallest things 
bear the greatest, upon your little wrongful act stands the entire 
structure of the future, every critique of the smallest thing also 
condemns the whole. Now, granted that the moral norm, even as 
Kant understood it, has never been completely fulfilled and remains 
suspended over actuality as a kind of beyond without ever falling 
down into it, then morality would contain a judgment concerning 
the whole, which, however, still permits the question: whence does 
it derive the right to this judgment? How does the part come to 
sit as judge over the whole? — 

And if this moral judging and dissatisfaction with actuality 
were in fact, as has been suggested, an ineradicable instinct, might 
this instinct not be one of the ineradicable stupidities and im- 
modesties of our species? — 

But in saying this we do that which we censure; the stand- 
point of desirability, of unauthorized playing-the-judge, is part 
of the character of the course of things, as is every injustice and 
imperfection — it is precisely our concept of “perfection” which 
is never satisfied. Every drive that desires to be satisfied expresses 
its dissatisfaction with the present state of things: what? is the 
whole perhaps composed of dissatisfied parts, which all have 

"Utilized in Twilight, Chapter I, section 36 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 
471-72). 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 181 

desiderata in their heads? is the “course of things” perhaps precisely 
this “away from here? away from actuality I” eternal dissatisfaction 
itself? is desirability perhaps the driving force itself? is it — deus ? 78 

* 

It seems to me important that one should get rid of the all, 
the unity, some force, something unconditioned; otherwise one 
will never cease regarding it as the highest court of appeal and 
baptizing it “God.” One must shatter the all; unlearn respect for 
the all; take what we have given to the unknown and the whole and 
give it back to what is nearest, what is ours. 

When, e.g., Kant says: “Two things 70 remain forever worthy 
of reverence” (conclusion , of the [Critique of] Practical Reason ) 
— today we should sooner say: “Digestion is more venerable.” 
The all would always bring the old problems with it — “How is 
evil possible?” etc. Therefore: there is no all, there is no great 
sensorium or inventarium or storehouse of force. 

332 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A man as he ought to be: that sounds to us as insipid as 
“a tree as it ought to be.” 80 

333 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Ethics: or “philosophy of desirability.” — “Things ought to be 
different,” “things shall be different”: dissatisfaction would thus be 
the germ of ethics. 

One could rescue oneself from it, firstly by selecting states in 
which one did not have this feeling; secondly by grasping the 
presumption and stupidity of it: for to desire that something should 
be different from what it is means to desire that everything should 
be different — it involves a condemnatory critique of the whole. 91 ’ 
But life itself is such a desire! 

n ‘The starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” 

“This section was used in Twilight, in section 6 of the chapter “Morality 
as Anti-Nature” ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 491-92): “Let us finally consider 
how naive it is altogether to say: ‘Man ought to be such and such!’ Reality 
shows us an enchanting wealth of types, the abundance of a lavish play and 
change of forms . . .” 

" At this point the MS still has the words: “It is to that extent. . . 




182 


THE WILL TO POWER 


To ascertain what is, as it is, seems something unspeakably 
higher and more serious than any “thus it ought to be,” because 
the latter, as a piece of human critique and presumption, appears 
ludicrous from the start. It expresses a need that desires that the 
structure of the world should correspond with our human well- 
being; also the will to bring this about as far as possible. 

On the other hand, it is only this desire “thus it ought to be” 
that has called forth that other desire to know what is. For the 
knowledge of what is, is a consequence of that question: “How? is 
it possible? why precisely so?” Wonder at the disagreement between 
our desires and the course of the world has led to our learning to 
know the course of the world. But perhaps the case is different: 
perhaps that “thus it ought to be” is our desire to overcome the 
world — 


334 ( March-1 une 1888 ) 

Today, when every “man ought to be thus and thus” is spoken 
with a grain of irony, when we are altogether convinced that, in 
spite of all, one will become only that which one is 8a (in spite of 
all: that means education, instruction, milieu, chance, and acci- 
dent), we have learned to reverse cause and consequence 83 in a 
curious way in moral matters — nothing perhaps distinguishes us 
more completely from the old believers in morality. We no longer 
say, e.g.*. “Vice is the cause that a man also goes to ruin physio- 
logically”; and just as little: “A man prospers through virtue, it 
brings long life and happiness.” Our view is rather that vice and 
virtue are not causes but only consequences. One becomes a decent 
man because one is a decent man: i.e., because one was born a 
capitalist of good instincts and prosperous circumstances — 

If one comes into the world poor, of parents who have 
squandered everything and saved nothing, one is “incorrigible,” 
which means ripe for prison or the madhouse — 

Today we no longer know how to separate moral and physio- 
logical degeneration: the former is merely a symptom-complex of 
the latter; one is necessarily bad, just as one is necessarily ill — 
Bad: here the word expresses a certain incapacity associated 
physiologically with the degenerating type: e.g., weakness of will, 


" Cf. the subtitle of Ecce Homo: “How One Becomes What One Is.” 
“Cf. Twilight, Chapter VI ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 492 ff), and sec- 
tions 41-44 above and 380 below. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 183 

insecure and even multiple “personality,” inability to resist reacting 
to a stimulus and to “control” oneself, constraint before every 
kind of suggestion from the will of another. Vice is not a cause; 
vice is a consequence— 

Vice is a somewhat arbitrarily limited concept designed to 
express in one word certain consequences of physiological degen- 
eration. A universal proposition such as Christianity teaches — “Man 
is evil” — would be justified if one were justified in taking the 
degenerate type as the normal type of man. But perhaps this is an 
exaggeration. To be sure, the proposition is correct wherever 
Christianity prospers and stays on top: for that demonstrates a 
morbid soil, a field for degeneration. 

335 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

One cannot have too much respect for man when one sees 
how well he understands how to fight his way through, to endure, 
to turn circumstances to his own use, to overthrow his adversaries; 
but when one looks at his desires he appears the absurdest of 
animals — 

It is as if he required a playground of cowardice, laziness, 
weakness, lusciousness, submissiveness for the recreation of his 
strong and manly virtues: observe human desiderata, his “ideals.” 
Desiring man recovers from the eternally valuable in him, from 
his deeds: he employs nothingness; the absurd, the valueless, the 
childish for his recovery. The spiritual poverty and lack of in- 
ventiveness of this inventive and resourceful animal are terrible. 
The “ideal” is, as it were, the penalty man pays for the tremendous 
expenditure he has to meet in all actual and pressing tasks. When 
reality ceases, dream, weariness, weakness come along: “the ideal” 
is simply a form of dream, weariness, weakness— 

The strongest and the most powerless natures become equal 
when this condition overtakes them: they deify the cessation of 
work, of war, of passion, of tension, of oppositions, of “reality” 
in summa — the struggle for knowledge, the exertion of knowledge. 

“Innocence”: that is their name for the ideal state of stupe- 
faction; “blessedness”: the ideal state of sloth; “love”: the ideal 
state of the herd animal that no longer wants to have enemies. 
Therewith one has raised everything that debases and lowers man 
to an ideal. 84 

“ Cf. Twilight, section 38 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 541) — and James 
Hilton’s Lost Horizon. 



184 


THE WILL TO POWER 


336 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

Desire magnifies that which one desires; it grows even by not 
being fulfilled — the greatest ideas are those that have been created 
by the most violent and protracted desires. The more our desire 
for a thing grows, the more value we ascribe to that thing: 88 if 
“moral values” have become the highest values, this betrays the 
fact that the moral ideal has been the least fulfilled 88 ( — to that 
extent it represented a “beyond all suffering,” as a means to blessed- 
ness). Mankind has embraced, with ever-increasing ardor, nothing 
but clouds: finally it called its despair, its impotence “God” — 

337 ( 1887-1888 ) 

Naivet6 in respect of ultimate “desiderata ” — while one does 
not know the “why” of mankind. 

338 ( Jan.-Fcdl 1888 ) 

What is the counterfeiting aspect of morality? — It pretends 
to know something, namely what “good and evil” is. That means 
wanting to know why mankind is here, its goal, its destiny. That 
means wanting to know that mankind has a goal, a destiny — 

339 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The very obscure and arbitrary idea that mankind has a single 
task to perform, that it is moving as a whole toward some goal, 
is still very young. Perhaps we shall be rid of it again before it 
becomes a “fixed idea” — 

This mankind is not a whole: it is an inextricable multiplicity 
of ascending and descending life-processes — it does not have a 
youth followed by maturity and finally by old age; the strata are 
twisted and entwined together — and in a few millennia there may 
still be even younger types of man than we can show today. 
Decadence, on the other hand, belongs to all epochs of mankind: 


“Cf. R. B. Perry’s General Theory of Value (1926). 
"Cf. Freud. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 185 

refuse and decaying matter are found everywhere; it is one of 
life’s processes to exclude the forms of decline and decay . 87 

* 

When Christian prejudice was a power, this question did not 
exist: meaning lay in the salvation of the individual soul; whether 
mankind could endure for a long or a short time did not come 
into consideration. The best Christians desired that it should end 
as soon as possible — concerning that which was needful to the 
individual there was no doubt — 

The task of every present individual was the same as for a 
future individual in any kind of future: value, meaning, domain of 
values were fixed, unconditional, eternal, one with God — That 
which deviated from this eternal type was sinful, devilish, con- 
demned — 

For each soul, the gravitational center of valuation was placed 
within itself: salvation or damnation! The salvation of the immortal 
soul! Extremest form of personalization — For every soul there 
was only one perfecting; only one ideal; only one way to redemp- 
tion— Extremest form of equality of rights, tied to an optical 
magnification of one’s own importance to the point of insanity — 
Nothing but insanely important souls, revolving about themselves 
with a frightful fear — 


* 

No man believes now in this absurd self-inflation : and we 
have sifted our wisdom through a sieve of contempt. Nevertheless, 
the optical habit of seeking the value of man in his approach to 
an ideal man remains undisturbed: fundamentally, one upholds 
the perspective of personalization as well as equality of rights 
before the ideal. In summa: one believes one knows what the 
ultimate desideratum is with regard to the ideal man — 

This belief, however, is only the consequence of a dreadful 
deterioration through the Christian ideal: as one at once discovers 
with every careful examination of the “ideal type.” One believes 
one knows, first that an approach to one type is desirable; sec- 
ondly, that one knows what this type is like; thirdly, that every 


" For a comparison with Oswald Spengler, who said in the preface to 
The Decline of the West that he owed “everything” to Goethe and Nietzsche, 
see the Epilogue of my Nietzsche, footnote 2. 



186 


THE WILL TO POWER 


deviation from this type is a regression, an inhibition, a loss of 
force and power in man — 

To dream of conditions in which this perfect man will be in 
the vast majority: even our socialists, even the Utilitarians have not 
gone farther than this. — 

In this way a goal seems to have entered the development of 
mankind: at any rate, the belief in progress towards the ideal is 
the only form in which a goal in history is thought of today. In 
summa: one has transferred the arrival of the “kingdom of God” 
into the future, on earth, in human form — but fundamentally one 
has held fast to the belief in the old ideal — 

340 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The more concealed forms of the cult of the Christian moral 
ideal. — The insipid and cowardly concept “nature” devised by 
nature enthusiasts ( — without any instinct for what is fearful, 
implacable and cynical in even the “most beautiful” aspects), a 
kind of attempt to read moral Christian “humanity” into nature — 
Rousseau’s concept of nature, as if “nature” were freedom, good- 
ness, innocence, fairness, justice, an idyl — still a cult of Christian 
morality fundamentally. — Collect together passages to see what 
the poets really admired in, e.g., high mountains, etc. — What 
Goethe wanted from them — why he admired Spinoza — . Com- 
plete ignorance the presupposition for this cult — 

The insipid and cowardly concept “man” a la Comte and 
Stuart Mill, perhaps even the object of a cult — It is still the cult 
of Christian morality under a new name — The freethinkers, e.g„ 
Guyau. 

The insipid and cowardly concept “art” as sympathy with 
all that suffers and is ill-constituted (even history, e.g., Thierry’s) : 
it is still the cult of the Christian moral ideal. 

And now, as for the entire socialist ideal: nothing but a 
clumsy misunderstanding of that Christian moral ideal. 

341 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The origin of the ideal. Investigation of the soil in which it 
grows. 

a. Proceeding from the “aesthetic" states, in which the world 
is seen fuller, rounder and more perfect — : the pagan ideal: self- 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 187 

affirmation predominates (one bestows—). The highest type: the 
classical ideal — as the expression of the well-constitutedness of 
all the chief instincts. Therein the highest style: the grand style. 
Expression of the “will to power” itself. The instinct that is most 
feared dares to acknowledge itself. 

b. Proceeding from states in which the world is seen emptier, 
paler, more diluted, in which “spiritualization” and nonsensuality 
assume the rank of perfection, in which the brutal, the animalic- 
direct, the proximate are most avoided ( — one removes, one 
chooses — ) : the “sage,” the “angel,” priestly = virginal — igno- 
rant, physiological characteristics of idealists of this sort — : the 
anemic ideal. Under certain circumstances it can be the ideal of 
those who represent the first ideal, the pagan (thus Goethe sees 
his “saint” in Spinoza). 

c. Proceeding from states in which we find the world more 
absurd, worse, poorer, more deceptive than we suppose or desire 
can be consistent with embodying the ideal ( — one negates, one 
destroys — ) : the projection of the ideal into the antinatural, anti- 
actual, illogical; the state of him who thus judges ( — the “impov- 
erishment” of the world as consequence of suffering: one takes, 
one no longer gives — ) : the antinatural ideal. 

(The Christian ideal is an intermediate form between the 
second and third, now with the former, now with the latter pre- 
dominating.) 

The three ideals: a. either a strengthening of life ( — pagan) 
or b. a dilution of life (anemic) or c. a denial of life ( — anti- 
natural). The state of "deification” is felt: in the greatest abund- 
ance — in the most fastidious selectivity — in contempt for and 
destruction of life. 


342 {Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

a. The consistent type. Here it is grasped that one must not 
hate even evil, that one must not oppose it, that one must not 
make war even against oneself; that one should not merely 
acquiesce in the suffering that such a way of life entails; that one 
should live entirely in positive feelings; that one should take the 
side of one’s opponent in word and deed; that through a superfe- 
tation of the peaceable, good-natured, conciliatory, helpful, and 
loving states one impoverishes the soil in which other states grow 



188 


THE WILE TO POWER 


— that one requires a perpetual way of living. What is achieved 
here? — The Buddhist type or the perfect cow. 

This standpoint is possible only when no moral fanaticism 
prevails, i.e., when evil is hated, not for its own sake, but only 
because it opens the way to states that are harmful to us (unrest, 
work, care, entanglements, dependence). 

This is the Buddhist standpoint: here sin is not hated, here 
the concept “sin” is lacking. 


* 

b. The inconsistent type. One wages war against evil — one 
believes that war for the sake of goodness does not have the moral 
consequences or effect on the character that war otherwise brings 
with it (and owing to which one detests it as evil). In fact, such a 
war against evil does much more fundamental harm than any kind 
of hostility of one person against another; and usually “the person” 
is reinterpolated as the opponent, at least in imagination (the devil, 
evil spirits, etc.). A hostile attitude of watching and spying on 
everything in us that is bad and might have a bad origin ends 
in a most tormented and anxious constitution: so that “miracles,” 
reward, ecstasy, transcendent solutions now become desirable — 
The Christian type: or the perfect bigot. 

* 

c. The stoical type. Firmness, self-control, imperturbability, 
peace as the inflexibility of a protracted will — profound quiet, the 
defensive state, the fortress, a warrior’s mistrustfulness — firmness 
of principle; the union of will and knowledge; respect for oneself. 
Hermit type. The perfect “ox.” 

343 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

An ideal that wants to prevail or assert itself seeks to support 
itself (a) by a spurious origin, (b) by a pretended relationship 
with powerful ideals already existing, (c) by the thrill of mystery, 
as if a power that cannot be questioned spoke through it, (d) by 
defamation of ideals that oppose it, (e) by a mendacious doctrine 
of the advantages it brings with it, e.g., happiness, repose of soul, 
peace or the assistance of a powerful God, etc. — Toward a psy- 
chology of the idealist: Carlyle, Schiller, Michelet. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 189 

If one discovers all the defensive and protective measures by 
which an ideal maintains itself, is it then refuted? It has employed 
the means by which all living things live and grow — they are one 
and all “immoral.” 

My insight: all the forces and drives by virtue of which life 
and growth exist lie under the ban of morality: morality as the 
instinct to deny life. One must destroy morality if one is to liberate 
life. 


344 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Not to know oneself: prudence of the idealist. The idealist: a 
creature that has good reasons to be in the dark about itself and 
is prudent enough to be in the dark about these reasons too. 

345 (1885-1886) 

Tendency of moral development. — Everyone desires that 
no doctrine or valuation of things should come into favor but 
that through which he himself prospers. The basic tendency of the 
weak and mediocre of all ages is, consequently, to weaken and 
pull down the stronger: chief means, the moral judgment. The 
attitude of the stronger toward the weaker is branded; the higher 
states of the stronger acquire an evil name. 

The struggle of the many against the few, the commonplace 
against the rare, the weak against the strong — one of the subtlest 
interruptions of this struggle occurs when the choice, subtle, more 
fastidious present themselves as the weak and repudiate the coarser 
means of power — 


346 (March-June 1888) 

1. The pretended pure drive after knowledge in all philoso- 
phers is dictated by their moral “truths” — is only apparently 
independent — 

2. The “moral truths,” “thus one ought to act,” are merely 
forms of consciousness of a tired instinct “thus and thus one does 
act among us.” The “ideal” is supposed to restore and strengthen 
an instinct; it flatters man to be obedient where he is only an 
automaton. 



190 


THE WILL TO POWER 


347 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Morality as a means of seduction . — “Nature is good, for a 
wise and good God is its cause. Who, then, is responsible for the 
‘corruption of mankind’? Its tyrants and seducers, the ruling 
orders — they must be destroyed” — : Rousseau’s logic (compare 
Pascal’s logic, which lays the responsibility on original sin). 

Compare the related logic of Luther. In both cases a pretext 
is sought to introduce an insatiable thirst for revenge as a moral- 
religious duty. Hatred for the ruling order seeks to sanctify itself — 
(the “sinfulness of Israel”: foundation of the power of the priest). 

Compare the related logic of Paul. It is always God’s cause in 
which these reactions come forth, the cause of right, of humanity, 
etc. In the case of Christ, the rejoicing of the people appears as 
the cause of his execution; an anti-priestly movement from the 
first. Even in the case of the anti-Semites it is still the same arti- 
fice: to visit condemnatory judgments upon one’s opponent and 
to reserve to oneself the role of retributive justice. 

348 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Course of the struggle: the fighter tries to transform his oppo- 
nent into his antithesis — in imagination naturally. He tries to have 
faith in himself to such a degree that he may have courage for 
the “good cause” (as if he were the good cause); as if his oppo- 
nent were attacking reason, taste, virtue — • 

The belief he needs as the strongest means of defense and 
attack is a belief in himself, which, however, knows how to mis- 
understand itself as belief in God: — never to imagine the advan- 
tages and utility of victory, but always victory for the sake of 
victory, as “the victory of God” — . Every little community (even 
an individual) that finds itself involved in struggle tries to convince 
itself: “We have good taste, good judgment, and virtue on our 
side.” — The struggle compels to such an exaggeration of self- 
esteem — 


349 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 


Whatever kind of bizarre ideal one may follow (e.g., as 
“Christian” or as “free spirit” or as “immoralist” or as Reichs- 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 19 i 

deutscher 98 — ), one should not demand that it be the ideal: for 
one therewith takes from it its privileged character. One should 
have it in order to distinguish oneself, not in order to level oneself. 

How comes it, this notwithstanding, that most idealists at 
once propagandize for their ideal, as if they could have no right to 
the ideal if everyone did not recognize it? — This, e.g., is what 
all those brave little women do who permit themselves to learn 
Latin and mathematics. What compels them? The instinct of the 
herd, I fear, terror of the herd: they fight for the “emancipation 
of women” because it is under the form of a generous activity, 
under the banner of “For others,” that they can most prudently 
forward their own little private separatism. 

Prudence of idealists to be only missionaries and “representa- 
tives” of an ideal: they “transfigure” themselves in the eyes of 
those who believe in disinterestedness and heroism. Whereas: true 
heroism consists, in not fighting under the banner of sacrifice, 
devotion, disinterestedness, but in not fighting at all — “This is 
what l am; this is what I want: — you can go to hell!” — 

350 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Every ideal presupposes love and hate, reverence and con- 
tempt. Either the positive feeling is the primum mobile 80 or the 
negative feeling is. Hate and contempt are, e.g., the primum mobile 
in all ressentiment ideals. 


B. Critique of the “Good Man,” 
the Saint, etc. 

351 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

The “good man.” Or: the hemiplegia 80 of virtue. — For every 
strong and natural species of man, love and hate, gratitude and 
revenge, good nature and anger, affirmative acts and negative 
acts, belong together. One is good on condition one also knows 
how to be evil; one is evil because otherwise one would not under- 
stand how to be good. Whence, then, comes the sickness and 

" A member of the German Reich. 

*" First motive. 

" Paralysis of one side. 




192 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ideological unnaturalness that rejects this doubleness — that teaches 
that it is a higher thing to be efficient on only one side? Whence 
comes the hemiplegia of virtue, the invention of the good man? — 

The demand is that man should castrate himself,, of those 
instincts with which he can be an enemy, can cause harm, can be 
angry, can demand revenge — 

This unnaturalness corresponds, then, to that dualistic con- 
ception of a merely good and a merely evil creature (God, spirit, 
man); in the former are summarized all the positive, in the latter 
all the negative forces, intentions, states. — 

Such a manner of valuing believes itself to be “idealistic”; it 
does not doubt that, in the conception of “the good,” it has posited 
a supreme desideratum. At its peak, it imagines a state in which 
all that is evil is annulled and in which only good creatures actually 
remain. It does not even consider it settled that this antithesis 
of good and evil is conditional on the existence of both; on the 
contrary, the latter should vanish and the former remain, the one 
has a right to exist, the other ought not to be there at all — 

What is it really that desires this? 

Much labor has been expended in all ages, and especially in 
the Christian ages, to reduce mankind to this half-sided efficiency, 
to the “good”: even today there is no lack of those deformed and 
weakened by the church for whom this object coincides with 
“humanization” in general, or with the “will of God,” or with 
“salvation of the soul.” The essential demand here is that mankind 
should do nothing evil, that it should under no circumstances do 
harm or desire to do harm. The way to achieve this is: the cas- 
tration of all possibility of enmity, the unhinging of all the instincts 
of ressentiment, “peace of soul” as a chronic disease. 

This mode of thought, with which a definite type of man is 
bred, starts from an absurd presupposition: it takes good and 
evil for realities that contradict one another (not as complementary 
value concepts, which would be the truth), it advises taking the 
side of the good, it desires that the good should renounce and 
oppose the evil down to its ultimate roots — it therewith actually 
denies life, which has in all its instincts both Yes and No. Not 
that it grasps this: it dreams, on the contrary, that it is getting 
back to wholeness, to unity, to strength of life: it thinks it will 
be a state of redemption when the inner anarchy, the unrest 
between those opposing value drives, is at last put an end to. — 
Perhaps there has never before been a more dangerous ideology. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 193 

a greater mischief in psychologicis, than this will to good: one 
has reared the most repellent type, the unfree man, the bigot; one 
has taught that only as a bigot is one on the right path to god- 
hood, only the bigot’s way is God’s way. 

And even here, life is still in the right — life, which does not 
know how to separate Yes from No — : what good is it to hold 
with all one’s strength that war is evil, not to do harm, not to desire 
to negate! one wages war nonetheless! one cannot do otherwise! 
The good man who has renounced evil, afflicted, as seems to him 
desirable, with that hemiplegia of virtue, in no way ceases to wage 
war, have enemies, say No and act No. The Christian, for example, 
hates “sin”! Precisely because of his faith in a moral antithesis of 
good and evil the world has become for him overfull of things 
that must be hated and eternally combated. “The good man” sees 
himself as if surrounded by evil, and under the continual onslaught 
of evil his eye grows keener, he discovers evil in all his dreams and 
desires; and so he ends, quite reasonably, by considering nature 
evil, mankind corrupt, goodness an act of grace (that is, as impossi- 
ble for man). In summa : he denies life, he grasps that when good 
is the supreme value it condemns life — 

Therewith he ought to consider his ideology of good and 
evil as refuted. But one cannot refute an illness. And so he con- 
ceives another life! — 

352 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The concept of power, whether of a god or of a man, always 
includes both the ability to help and the ability to harm. Thus 
it is with the Arabs; thus with the Hebrews. Thus with all strong 
races. 

It is a fateful step when one separates the power for the one 
from the power for the other into a dualism — • In this way, morality 
becomes the poisoner of life — 

353 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Toward a critique of the good man. — Integrity, dignity, sense 
of duty, justice, humanity, honesty, straightness, good conscience — 
are certain qualities really affirmed and approved for their own 
sake with these well-sounding words? or is it a case of qualities 
and states, in themselves of no particular value, being moved into 



194 


THE WILL TO POWER 


a certain light in which they acquire value? Does the value of 
these qualities reside in them or in the use and advantage to which 
they lead (appear to lead, are expected to lead)? 

Naturally, I do not mean by this an antithesis between ego and 
alter 91 in the judgment: the question is whether these qualities are 
supposed to have value on account of their consequences, either 
for the bearer of these qualities or for the environment, for society, 
for “humanity”: or whether they have value in themselves — 

In other words: is it utility that bids one condemn, combat, 
deny the opposite qualities ( — untrustworthiness, falseness, per- 
versity, lack of self-confidence, inhumanity — )? Is the essence of 
such qualities condemned, or only their consequences? — In other 
words: would it be desirable that men with these latter qualities 
should not exist? — In any event, that is what is believed — But 
here lies the error, the short-sightedness, the narrow-mindedness 
of nook egoism. 

Otherwise expressed: would it be desirable to create condi- 
tions in which all the advantage would be with the righteous— -so 
that the opposite natures and instincts would be discouraged and 
slowly die out? 

This is at bottom a question of taste and of aesthetics: would 
it be desirable that the “most respectable,” i.e., most tedious, 
species of man should survive? the square, 82 the virtuous, the 
worthies, the good people, the straight, the “oxen”? 93 

If one imagines the tremendous abundance of the “others” 
gone, then even the righteous no longer has a right to existence: he 
is no longer necessary — and here one grasps that it is only coarse 
utility that has brought such an insufferable virtue into honor. 

Perhaps desirability lies on precisely the other side: to create 
conditions in which the “righteous man” is reduced to the modest 
position of a “useful tool” — as the “ideal herd animal,” at best 
herdsman: in short, conditions in which he no longer stands 
among the higher orders which require other qualities. 

354 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The " good man” as tyrant. — Man has repeated the same mis- 

______ - 

“ Die Recluwinkligen — literally the right-angled — seems to be used here 
to connote exactly what is suggested by the American “square.” 

“See also sections 386 and 881. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 195 

take over and over again: he has made a means to life into a 
standard of life; instead of discovering the standard in the highest 
enhancement of life itself, in the problem of growth and exhaus- 
tion, he has employed the means to a quite distinct kind of life 
to exclude all other forms of life, in short to criticize and select 
life. I.e., man finally loves the means for their own sake and forgets 
they are means: so that they enter his consciousness as aims, as 
standards for aims — i.e., a certain species of man treats the con- 
ditions of its existence as conditions which ought to be imposed 
as a law, as “truth,” “good,” “perfection”: it tyrannizes — It is a 
form of faith, of instinct, that a species of man fails to perceive 
its conditionality, its relativity to other species. At least, it seems 
to be all over for a species of man (people, races) when it becomes 
tolerant, allows equal rights and no longer thinks of wanting to be 
master — 


355 ( 1885-1886 ) 

“All good people are weak: they are good because they are 
not strong enough to be evil” 04 — the Latuka chieftain Comorro 
told Baker. 


* 

“The faint-hearted know no misfortune”— says a Russian 
proverb. 


356 ( 1887-1888 ) 

Modest, industrious, benevolent, temperate: is that how you 
would have men? good men? But to me that seems only the ideal 
slave, the slave of the future. 


357 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The metamorphoses of slavery; its disguise under the cloak 
of religion; its transfiguration through morality. 


w Cf. Zarathustra, II, “On Those Who Are Sublime” ( Portable Nietz- 
sche, p. 230): “Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good 
from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought them- 
selves good because they had no claws.” 



196 


THE WILL TO POWER 


358 ( 1887-1888 ) 

The ideal slave (the “good man”). — He who cannot posit 
himself as a goal, not posit any goals for himself whatever, bestows 
honor upon selflessness — instinctively. Everything persuades him 
to this: his prudence, his experience, his vanity. And even faith is 
a form of selflessness. 


* 

Atavism: wonderful feeling to be able to obey unconditionally 
for once. 


* 

Industry, modesty, benevolence, temperance are just so many 
hindrances to a sovereign disposition, great inventiveness, heroic 
purposiveness, noble being-for-oneself. 

* 

It is not a matter of going ahead ( — for then one is at best 
a herdsman, i.e., the herd’s chief requirement), but of being able 
to go it alone, of being able to be different. 

359 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

One must reckon up what had been accumulated as a conse- 
quence of the highest moral idealism: how almost all other values 
had crystallized around the ideal. This proves that it has been 
desired longest and strongest — that is has not been attained: other- 
wise it would have disappointed (or would have been followed 
by a more moderate valuation). 95 

The saint as the most powerful type of man — : it is this idea 
that has elevated so high the value of moral perfection. One must 
imagine the whole of knowledge laboring to prove that the moral 
man is the most powerful, most godlike. — The overcoming of 


" Between the two paragraphs the following words in the MS have been 
omitted in all editions: ‘The highest honor and power among men: even 
from the most powerful — the only genuine form of happiness — a privileged 
right to God, to immortality, under certain circumstances to an unio (mysti- 
cal union?] — power over nature — the miracle worker (Parsifal) — power over 
God, over blessedness and damnation of souls, etc.” (1911, p. 503). 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 197 

the senses, the desires — everything inspired fear; the antinatural 
appeared as the supernatural, as something from the beyond — 

360 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Francis of Assisi: in love, popular, a poet, combats the order 
of rank among souls in favor of the lowliest. Denial of the hier- 
archy of souls — “all equal before God.” 

The popular ideals: the good man, the selfless man, the 
saint, the sage, the just man. O Marcus Aurelius! 

361 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

I have declared war on the anemic Christian ideal (together 
with what is closely related to it), not with the aim of destroying 
it but only of putting an end to its tyranny and clearing the way 
for new ideals, for more robust ideals — 

The continuance of the Christian ideal is one of the most 
desirable things there are — even for the sake of the ideals that 
want to stand beside it and perhaps above it — they must have 
opponents, strong opponents, if they are to become strong . — 

Thus we immoralists require the power of morality: our 
drive of self-preservation wants our opponents to retain their 
strength — it only wants to become master over them." 


C. Disparagement of the So-Called 
Evil Qualities 

362 (1885) 

Egoism and its problem! The Christian gloominess in La 
Rochefoucauld which extracted egoism from everything and 
thought he had thereby reduced the value of things and of virtues! 
To counter that, I at first sought to prove that there could not 
be anything other than egoism — that in men whose ego is weak 
and thin the power of great love also grows weak — that the 
greatest lovers are so from the strength of their ego — that love is 


” Cf. section 287 above. 




198 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ao expression of egoism, etc. In fact, the false valuation is aimed 
at the interests: (1) of those who are helped and aided, the herd; 

(2) it contains a pessimistic mistrustfulness of the basis of life; 

(3) it would like to deny the most splendid and best-constituted 
men; fear; (4) it wants to aid the subjected to their rights against 
their conquerors; (5) it brings with it a universal dishonesty, and 
precisely among the most valuable men. 

363 {Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Man is an indifferent egoist: even the cleverest thinks his 
habits more important than his advantage. 

364 {1884) 

Egoism! But no one has yet asked: what kind of ego? On the 
contrary, everyone unconsciously thinks every ego equal to every 
other ego. This is the consequence of the slaves’ theory of suffrage 
universel and “equality.” 


365 {1884) 

The actions of a higher man are indescribably complex in 
their motivation: any such word as “pity” says nothing whatever. 
The most essential thing is the feeling “Who am I? who is the 
other in relation to me?” — Value judgments are continually at 
work. 


366 {1885-1886) 

That the history of all phenomena of morality could be sim- 
plified in the way Schopenhauer believed — namely, so that pity is 
to be discovered as the root of all moral impulse hitherto — only 
a thinker denuded of all historical instinct, and one who had eluded 
in the strangest way even that strong schooling in history undergone 
by the Germans from Herder to Hegel, could have attained to this 
degree of absurdity and naivete. 

367 {1885) 

My kind of "pity ." — This is a feeling for which I find no 
name adequate: I sense it when I see precious capabilities squan- 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 199 

dered, e.g., at the sight of Luther: what force and what insipid 
backwoodsman problems! (at a time when in France the bold and 
light-hearted skepticism of a Montaigne was already possible!) Or 
when I see anyone halted, as a result of some stupid accident, at 
something less than he might have become. Or especially at the 
idea of the lot of mankind, as when I observe with anguish and 
contempt the politics of present-day Europe, which is, under all 
circumstances, also working at the web of the future of all men. 

Yes, what could not become of “man,” if ! This is a 97 kind of 

“compassion” although there is really no “passion” I share. 98 

368 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Pity a squandering of feeling, a parasite harmful to moral 
health, 99 “it cannot possibly be our duty to increase the evil in the 
world.” If one does good merely out of pity, it is oneself one really 
does good to, and not the other. Pity does not depend upon maxims 
but upon affects; 100 it is pathological. The suffering of others infects 
us, pity is an infection. 


369 ( 1885-1886 ) 

No egoism at all exists that remains within itself and does not 
encroach — consequently, that “allowable,” “morally indifferent” 
egoism of which you speak does not exist at all. 

“One furthers one’s ego always at the expense of others;” 
“Life always lives at the expense of other life” — he who does not 
grasp this has not taken even the first step toward honesty with 
himself. 


370 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The “subject” is only a fiction: the ego of which one speaks 
when one censures egoism does not exist at all. 


"Gratuitously changed to “my" in all editions. 

“The play on words is better in the original: Dies ist eine Art “ Mil - 
leid"; ob es sclion keinen Leidenden giebt, mit dem ich da title. The German 
word for pity means literally “with-suffering” but in this case those for 
whom the pity is felt are not suffering. More’s the pity! 

” Spinoza. 

*" Kant. 



200 


THE WILL TO POWER 


371 ( 1885-1886 ) 

The “ego” — which is not one with the central government of 
our nature! — 4s, indeed, only a conceptual synthesis — thus there 
are no actions prompted by “egoism.” 

372 ( 1883-1888 ) 

As every drive lacks intelligence, the viewpoint of “utility” 
cannot exist for it. Every drive, in as much as it is active, sacrifices 
force and other drives: finally it is checked; otherwise it would 
destroy everything through its excessiveness. Therefore: the “un- 
egoistic,” self-sacrificing, imprudent, is nothing special — it is com- 
mon to all the drives — they do not consider the advantage of the 
whole ego (because they do not consider at all!), they act contrary 
to our advantage, against the ego: and often for the ego — innocent 
in both cases! 


373 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Origin of moral values . 101 — Egoism is of as much value as 
the physiological value of him who possesses it. 

Every individual consists of the whole course of evolution 
(and not, as morality imagines, only of something that begins at 
birth). If he represents the ascending course of mankind, then his 
value is in fact extraordinary; and extreme care may be taken over 
the preservation and promotion of his development. (It is concern 
for the future promised him that gives the well-constituted individ- 
ual such an extraordinary right to egoism.) If he represents the 
descending course, decay, chronic sickening, then he has little 
value: and the first demand of fairness is for him to take as 
little space, force, and sunshine as possible away from the well- 
constituted. In this case, it is the task of society to suppress egoism 
( — which sometimes expresses itself in absurd, morbid and rebel- 


'°'This section was put to use by Nietzsche in Twilight, section 33 
( Portable Nietzsche, p. 533 ft), Cf. also Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 
II69a: “The good man ought to be a lover of self, since he will then act 
nobly, and so both benefit himself and aid his fellows; but the bad man 
ought not to be a lover of self, since he will follow his base passions, and 
injure both himself and his neighbors” (tr. Rackham, Loeb Classical 
Library). 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 201 

Iious ways), whether it be a question of individuals or of whole 
decaying and atrophying classes of people. A doctrine and religion 
of “love,” of suppression of self-affirmation, of patience, endurance, 
helpfulness, of cooperation in word and deed, can be of the highest 
value within such classes, even from the point of view of the 
rulers: for it suppresses feelings of rivalry, of ressentimentj of envy 
— the all too natural feelings of the underprivileged — it even deifies 
a life of slavery, subjection, poverty, sickness, and inferiority for 
them under the ideal of humility and obedience. This explains why 
the ruling classes (or races) and individuals have at all times up- 
held the cult of selflessness, the gospel of the lowly, the “God on 
the cross.” 

The preponderance of an altruistic mode of valuation is the 
consequence of an instinct that one is ill-constituted. The value 
judgment here is at bottom: “I am not worth much”: a merely 
physiological value judgment; even more clearly: the feeling of 
impotence, the absence of the great affirmative feelings of power 
(in muscles, nerves, ganglia). This value judgment is translated 
into a moral or a religious judgment, according to the culture of 
this class ( — the predominance of religious and moral judgments 
is always a sign of a lower culture — ) : it seeks to establish itself 
by relating to spheres in which it recognizes the concept “value” 
in general. The interpretation by means of which the Christian 
sinner believes he understands himself is an attempt to justify his 
lack of power and self-confidence : he would rather consider him- 
self guilty than feel bad for no reason: it is a symptom of decay 
to require interpretations of this sort at all. 

In other cases, the underprivileged man seeks the reason not 
in his “guilt” (as the Christian does), but in society: the socialist, 
the anarchist, the nihilist — in as much as they find their existence 
something of which someone must be guilty, they are still the 
closest relations of the Christian, who also believes he can better 
endure his sense of sickness and ill-constitutedness by finding 
someone whom he can make responsible for it. The instinct of 
revenge and ressentiment appears here in both cases as a means 
of enduring, as the instinct of self-preservation: just as is the 
preference for altruistic theory and practice. 

Hatred of egoism, whether it be one’s own (as with Chris- 
tians) or another’s (as with socialists), is thus revealed as a value 
judgment under the predominating influence of revenge; on the 
other hand, as an act of prudence for the self-preservation of the 



202 


THE WILL TO POWER 


suffering by an enhancement of their feelings of cooperation and 
solidarity — 

Finally, even that release of ressentiment in the judging, re- 
jecting, punishing of egoism (one’s own or another’s) is also, as 
already indicated, an instinct of self-preservation on the part of 
the underprivileged. In summa: the cult of altruism is a specific 
form of egoism that regularly appears under certain physiological 
conditions. 

When the socialist with a fine indignation demands “justice,” 
“right,” “equal rights,” he is merely acting under the impress of 
his inadequate culture that cannot explain why he is suffering: on 
the other hand, he enjoys himself; if he felt better he would re- 
frain from crying out: he would then find pleasure in other things. 
The same applies to the Christian: he condemns, disparages, 
curses the “world”— himself not excluded. But that is no reason 
for taking his clamor seriously. In both cases we are in the presence 
of invalids who feel better for crying out, for whom defamation is 
a relief. 


374 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 


Every society has the tendency to reduce its opponents to 
caricatures— at least in imagination — and, as it were, to starve 
them. Such a caricature is, e.g., our “criminal.” Within the 
aristocratic Roman order of values, the Jew was reduced to a 
caricature. Among artists, the “philistine and bourgeois” become 
caricatures; among the pious, the godless; among aristocrats, the 
man of the people. Among immoralists it is the moralist: Plato, 
for example, becomes a caricature in my hands. 

375 ( 1883-1888 ) 

All the drives and powers that morality praises seem to me 
to be essentially the same as those it defames and rejects: e.g., 
justice as will to power, will to truth as a tool of the will to 
power. 


376 ( 1883-1888 ) 


Man’s growing inwardness. Inwardness grows as powerful 
drives that have been denied outward release by the establishment 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 203 

of peace and society seek compensation by turning inward in 
concert with the imagination. The thirst for enmity, cruelty; re- 
venge, violence turns back, is repressed ; 102 in the desire for knowl- 
edge there is avarice and conquest; in the artist there reappears 
the repressed 103 power to dissimulate and lie; the drives are trans- 
formed into demons whom one fights, etc. 

377 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Falsity .— Every sovereign instinct has the others for its tools, 
retainers, flatterers: it never lets itself be called by its ugly name: 
and it countenances no praise in which it is not also praised in- 
directly. All praise and blame in general crystallizes around every 
sovereign instinct to form a rigorous order and etiquette. This is 
one of the causes of falsity. 

Every instinct that struggles for mastery but finds itself under 
a yoke requires for itself, as strengthening and as support for its 
self-esteem, all the beautiful names and recognized values: so, 
as a rule, it ventures forth under the name of the “master” it is 
combatting and from whom it wants to get free (e.g., the fleshly 
desires or the desires for power under the dominion of Christian 
values). — This is the other cause of falsity. 

Perfect naivete reigns in both cases: the falsity does not be- 
come conscious. It is a sign of a broken instinct when man sees 
the driving force and its “expression” (“the mask”) as separate 
things — a sigh of self-contradiction, and victorious far less often. 
Absolute innocence in bearing, word, affect, a “good conscience” 
in falsity, the certainty with which one grasps the greatest and 
most splendid words and postures — all this is necessary for victory. 

In the other case: when one has extreme clearsightedness one 
needs the genius of the actor and tremendous training in self- 
control if one is to achieve victory. That is why priests are the 
most skillful conscious hypocrites; then princes, whom rank and 
ancestry have endowed with a kind of acting ability. Thirdly, men 
of society, diplomats. Fourthly, women. 

Basic idea-, falsity seems so profound, so omnisided, the will 
so clearly opposed to direct self-knowledge and the calling of 


Tritt zuriick. 

m Zuriickgetretene. This note on "Die Verinnerlichung des Menschen ” 
should be compared with section 16 of the second essay in the Genealogy of 
Morals, where the same phrase is used and discussed. 



204 


THE WILL TO POWER 


things by their right names, that it is very highly probable that 
truth, will to truth is really something else and only a disguise. 
(The need for faith is the greatest brake-shoe on truthfulness.) 

378 ( 1883-1888 ) 

“Thou shalt not lie”: one demands truthfulness. But acknowl- 
edgement of the factual (refusal to let oneself be lied to) has 
been greatest precisely among liars: they have recognized that 
just this popular “truthfulness” is not a fact. What is said is always 
too much or too little: the demand that one should denude one- 
self with every word one says is a piece of naivete. 

One says what one thinks, one is “truthful,” only under certain 
conditions: namely, that one is understood (inter pares), 10 * and 
understood with good will (once again inter pares). One conceals 
oneself in presence of the unfamiliar: and he who wants to attain 
something says what he would like to have thought of him, but 
not what he thinks. (“The powerful always lie.”) 

379 (Spring-Fall 1 887 ) 

The great nihilistic counterfeiting through artful misuse of 
moral values: 

a. Love as depersonalization; also pity. 

b. Only the most depersonalized intellect (“the philosopher”) 
knows the truth, “the true being and nature of things.” 

c. The genius, the great human beings, are great because 
they do not seek their own advantage: the value of a man increases 
in proportion as he denies himself. 

d. Art as the work of the “pure free-willed subject”; mis- 
understanding of “objectivity.” 

e. Happiness as the end of life: virtue as means to an end. 

The pessimistic condemnation of life by Schopenhauer is a 

moral one. Transference of herd standards into the realm of meta- 
physics. 

The “individuum” meaningless, necessitating an origin in the 
“in-itself” (and an explanation of his existence as an “aberration”) ; 
parents only “accidental cause.” — We are paying for the fact that 
science has not understood the individuum: he comprises the en- 
tirety of life hitherto in one development, and is not its result. 


”* Among equals. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


205 


380 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

1. Systematic falsification of history; so that it may provide 
the proof of moral valuation: 

a. decline of a people and corruption; 108 

b. rise of a people and virtue; 

c. zenith of a people (“its culture”) as consequence of 
moral elevation. 

2. Systematic falsification of great human beings, the great 
creators, the great epochs: 

one desires that faith should be the distinguishing mark 
of the great: but slackness, skepticism, “immorality,” the 
right to throw off a faith, belong to greatness (Caesar, also 
Homer, Aristophanes, Leonardo, Goethe). One always sup- 
presses the main thing, their “freedom of will” — 


381 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Great lie in history: as if the corruption of the church were 
the cause of the Reformation! Only pretext and self-deception on 
the part of the instigators — strong needs were present whose 
brutality very much required a spiritual cloak. 106 


382 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Schopenhauer interpreted high intellectuality as liberation 
from the will; he did not want to see the freedom from moral 
prejudice which is part of the emancipation of the great spirit, the 
typical immorality of the genius; he artfully posited the only thing 
he held in honor, the moral value of “depersonalization,” as the 
condition of spiritual activity, of “objective” viewing. “Truth,” 
even in art, appears after the withdrawal of the will — 

/ see a fundamentally different valuation cutting across all 
the moral idiosyncrasies; I know nothing of such an absurd dis- 
tinction between “genius” and the moral and immoral world of 
the will. The moral man is a lower species than the immoral, a 
weaker species; indeed — he is a type in regard to morality, but 

1M Cf. section 334 above; also 41-44 and Twilight, Chapter VI ( Portable 
Nietzsche, p. 492 ff). 

1M See 150n above. 




206 


THE WILL TO POWER 


not a type in himself; a copy, a good copy at best — the measure 
of his value lies outside him. I assess a man by the quantum of 
power and abundance of his will: not by its enfeeblement and 
extinction; I regard a philosophy which teaches denial of the will 
as a teaching of defamation and slander — l assess the power of a 
will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows 
how to turn to its advantage; I do not account the evil and painful 
character of existence a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will 
one day be more evil and painful than hitherto — 10T 

The high point of the spirit imagined by Schopenhauer was 
to attain to the recognition that there is no meaning in anything, 
in short, to recognize what the good man already instinctively 
does — He denies the possibility of a higher kind of intellect — he 
took his insight for a non plus ultra. Here spirituality is placed 
much lower than goodness; its highest value (e.g., as art) would 
be to urge and prepare moral conversion: absolute domination of 
moral values. — 

Beside Schopenhauer 1 would characterize Kant-, nothing 
Greek, absolutely antihistorical (his passage on the French Revo- 
lution) and a moral fanatic (Goethe’s passage on radical evil). 
Saintliness was in the background in his case, too. 

I need a critique of the saint — 

Hegel’s value. “Passion.” — 

Shopkeeper’s philosophy of Mr. Spencer; complete absence 
of an ideal, except that of the mediocre man. 

Fundamental instinctive principle of all philosophers and his- 
torians and psychologists: everything of value in man, art, history, 
science, religion, technology must be proved to be of moral value, 
morally conditioned, in aim, means and outcome. Everything under- 
stood in the light of the supreme value: e.g., Rousseau’s question 
concerning civilization: “Does man become better through it?” — an 
amusing question, since the reverse is obvious and is precisely 
that which speaks in favor of civilization. 

383 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Religious morality. — Affect, great desire, the passion for 
power, love, revenge, possessions — : moralists want to extinguish 
and uproot them, to “purify” the soul of them. 

Italics supplied. In the original only “power” and “will” are empha- 
sized. Sections 382-88 are of exceptional interest. 




207 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 

The logic is: the desires often produce great misfortune — 
consequently they are evil, reprehensible. A man must free himself 
from them: otherwise he cannot be a good man — 

This is the same logic as: “if thine eye offend thee, pluck it 
out.” In the particular case in which that dangerous “innocent 
from the country,” the founder of Christianity, recommended this 
practice to his disciples, the case of sexual excitation, the conse- 
quence is, unfortunately, not only the loss of an organ but the 
emasculation of a man’s character — And the same applies to 
the moralist’s madness that demands, instead of the restraining of 
the passions, their extirpation. Its conclusion is always: only the 
castrated man is a good man. 

Instead of taking into service the great sources of strength, 
those impetuous torrents of the soul that are so often dangerous 
and overwhelming, and economizing them, this most shortsighted 
and pernicious mode of thought, the moral mode of thought, 
wants to make them dry up. 108 

384 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Overcoming of the affects ? — No, if What is implied is their 
weakening and extirpation. But putting them into service: which 
may also mean subjecting them to a protracted tyranny (not only 
as an individual, but as a community, race, etc.). At last they are 
confidently granted freedom again: they love us as good servants 
and go voluntarily wherever our best interests lie. 

385 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Moral intolerance is an expression of weakness in a man: he 
is afraid of his own “immorality,” he must deny his strongest 
drives because he does not yet know how to employ them. Thus 
the most fruitful regions of the earth remain uncultivated the 
longest: — the force is lacking that could here become master — 

386 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

There are very naive peoples and men who believe that con- 
tinual fine weather is something desirable: even today they believe, 


10 * A section of the utmost importance for the understanding of Nietz- 
sche^ opposition to Christianity and his contrast of Dionysus and Christ. 



208 


THE WILL TO POWER 


in rebus moralibus, 109 that the “good man,” and nothing but the 
“good man,” is something desirable — and that the course of human 
evolution is directed toward the survival of the “good man” only 
(and that one must bend all one’s efforts in that direction — ). 
This is in the highest degree an uneconomic thought and, as 
stated, the acme of naivete, nothing but the expression of the 
pleasing effect produced by the “good man” ( — he arouses no fear, 
he permits one to relax, he gives what one is able to take). 110 

From a superior viewpoint one desires the contrary: the 
ever-increasing dominion of evil, the growing emancipation of 
man from the narrow and fear-ridden bonds of morality, the in- 
crease of force, in order to press the mightiest natural powers — 
the affects — into service. 

387 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The whole conception of an order of rank among the passions: 
as if the right and normal thing were for one to be guided by 
reason — with the passions as abnormal, dangerous, semi-animal, 
and, moreover, so far as their aim is concerned, nothing other 
than desires Eor pleasure — 

Passion is degraded (1) as if it were only in unseemly cases, 
and not necessarily and always, the motive force; (2) in as much 
as it has for its object something of no great value, amusement— 

The misunderstanding of passion and reason, as if the latter 
were an independent entity and not rather a system of relations 
between various passions and desires; and as if every passion did 
not possess its quantum of reason — 

388 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

How, under the impress of the ascetic morality of depersonali- 

1W Moral matters. 

'"The reading “nothing but the expression” is doubtful, as the words 
in the MS are somewhat illegible. 

In the first edition (1901) only the first paragraph was printed (as sec- 
tion 225). In the MS the second paragraph does not follow the first; it 
appears earlier in the same notebook, preceded by the words: “The same 
kind of man who wishes us ‘good weather’ also wishes only for ‘good men’ 
and, quite generally, for good qualities — at least the ever-growing dominion 
of what is good.” 

Schlechta ignores 1911, p. 504, and also p. 486, and reprints the text 
of the standard editions. 

See also section 881 below. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


209 


zation, it was precisely the affects of love, goodness, pity, even 
those of justice, magnanimity, heroism, that were necessarily 
misunderstood : m 

It is richness in personality, abundance in oneself, over- 
flowing and bestowing, instinctive good health and affirmation of 
oneself, that produce great sacrifice and great love: it is strong and 
godlike selfhood from which these affects grow, just as surely as 
do the desire to become master, encroachment, the inner certainty 
of having a right to everything. What according to common ideas 
are opposite dispositions are rather one disposition; and if one 
is not firm and brave within oneself, one has nothing to bestow 
and cannot stretch Out one’s hand to protect and support — 

How was one able so to transform these instincts that man 
thought valuable that which was directed against his self? when 
he sacrificed his self to another self. Oh the psychological Wretched- 
ness and mendaciousness that has hitherto laid down the law in 
the church and in church-infected philosophy! 

If man is sinful through and through, then he ought only 
to hate himself. Fundamentally, he would have to treat his fellow 
men on the same basis as he treats himself; charity needs to be 
justified— its justification lies in the fact that God has commanded 
it. — It follows from this, that all the natural instincts of man 
(the instinct of love, etc.) appear to be forbidden in themselves 
and only after they have been denied are they restored to their 
rights on the basis of obedience to God — Pascal, the admirable 
logician of Christianity, went so far! consider his relations to his 
sister. “Not to make oneself love ” 112 seemed Christian to him. 

389 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Let us consider the cost of such a moral canon (“an ideal”). 
(Its enemies are — well? The “egoists.”) 

The melancholic astuteness in self-disparagement in Europe 
(Pascal, La Rochefoucauld) — the inner enfeeblement, discour- 
agement, self-vexation of the non-herd animals — 

the perpetual emphasizing of the qualities of mediocrity as 
the most valuable (modesty in rank and file, the tool-like nature) — 
the bad conscience associated with all that is self-glorifying 
and original; 

”* la the MS, after the colon, doubly underlined, “Main Chapter.” 

“Or: loved. 




210 


THE WILL TO POWER 


therefore displeasure; therefore the world of the more 
strongly constituted made gloomy! 

herd-consciousness transferred to philosophy and religion; 
also its timorousness. 

Let us leave aside the psychological impossibility of a purely 
selfless action! 


390 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

My final proposition is: that the actual man represents a 
much higher value than the “desirable” man of any ideal hitherto; 
that all " desiderata ” with reference to man have been absurd and 
dangerous excesses through which a single type of man tried to 
establish his conditions of preservation and growth as a law for 
all mankind; that every “desideratum” of this kind ever brought 
into a position of dominance has reduced the value of man, his 
strength, his certainty of the future; that the nook-intellectuality 
and poverty of spirit of man is most apparent, even today, when 
he desires; that man’s ability to posit values has hitherto been too 
little developed for him to be just, not merely to the “desirable” 
values, but to the real values of man; that the ideal has hitherto 
been the actual force for disparaging the world and man, the 
poisonous vapor over reality, the great seduction to nothingness — 


D. Critique of the Words: 

Improvement, Perfecting, Elevation 

391 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Standard by which the value of moral evaluation is to be 
determined. 

The fundamental fact that has been overlooked: the con- 
tradiction between “becoming more moral” and the elevation and 
strengthening of the type man. 

Homo natura. The “will to power.” 

392 (March-June 1888) 

Moral values as illusory values compared with physiological 
values. 



BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 


211 


393 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Thought about the most universal subjects is always behind 
the times: the ultimate " desiderata ” for mankind, for example, 
have never really been grasped as a problem by philosophers. They 
all naively postulate the “improvement” of man as if an intuition 
answered for us the question why we ought to “improve.” To 
what extent is it desirable that man should become more virtuous? 
or cleverer? or happier? Provided we do not already know the 
“wherefore” of mankind, such an outlook has no meaning; and if 
one desires one of these things, who knows, perhaps one is pre- 
cluded from desiring the others. Is an increase in virtuousness 
compatible with an increase in cleverness and insight? Dubito; 113 
only too often I shall have occasion to show the reverse. Has 
virtuousness as a goal not hitherto been in the most rigorous sense 
incompatible with being happy? does it not, on the contrary, re- 
quire misfortune, self-denial and self-mistreatment as a necessary 
means? And if the deepest insight were the goal, would one not 
then have to renounce the increase of happiness? and choose 
danger, adventure, mistrust, seduction as the road to insight? — 
And if one desires happiness, well, perhaps one has to become one 
of the “poor in spirit.” 


394 (March-! une 1888) 

The universal deception and cheating in the realm of so- 
called moral improvement. — We do not believe that a man will 
become another if he is not that other already; i.e., if he is not, 
as is often the case, a multiplicity of persons, at least the embryos 
of persons. In this case, one can bring a different role into the 
foreground and draw “the former man” back — The aspect is 
changed, not the essence— That someone ceases to perform 
certain actions is a mere fatum brulum 114 that permits the most 
various interpretations. It is not always the case that the habit of 
a certain act is broken, the ultimate reason for it removed. He 
who is a criminal through fate and facility unlearns nothing, but 
learns more and more: and a long abstinence even acts as a tonic 
to his talent — 

________ ~~ 

"* Brute fate. 



212 


THE WILL TO POWER 


For society, to be sure, all that is of interest is precisely that 
someone no longer performs certain actions: to this end it removes 
him from those conditions in which he can perform certain actions; 
that is wiser, in any event, than to attempt the impossible, namely, 
to disrupt the fatality by which he is thus and thus. The church — 
and in this it has done nothing but succeed and inherit from the 
philosophy of antiquity — proceeding from a different standard 
and desiring to save a “soul,” the “eternal destiny” of a soul, first 
believes in the expiatory power of punishment and then in the 
obliterating power of forgiveness: both are deceptions of religious 
prejudice— punishment does not expiate, forgiveness does not ex- 
tinguish, what is done is not undone. That someone forgets some- 
thing is certainly not evidence that something has ceased to exist — 

A deed produces its consequences, within the man and out- 
side the man, regardless of whether it is considered as punished, 
“expiated.” “forgiven” and “extinguished,” regardless of whether 
the church has in the meantime promoted the doer to a saint. The 
church believes in things that do not exist, in “souls;” it believes in 
effects that do not exist, in divine effects; it believes in states that 
do not exist, in sin, in redemption, in the salvation of the soul: it 
stays everywhere on the surface, at signs, gestures, words to which 
it gives an arbitraiy meaning. It possesses a thoroughly thought-out 
method of psychological counterfeiting. 

395 ( 1887 - 1888 ) 

— “Illness makes men better”: this famous opinion, which 
one encounters throughout the centuries, in the mouth of the 
sage as often as in the mouth and maw of the people, makes one 
wonder. As to whether it is valid, one would like to ask: were 
morality and illness originally connected, perhaps? The “improve- 
ment of man,” regarded as a whole, e.g., the undeniable softening, 
humanizing, mellowing of the European within the last millennium 
— is it perhaps the result of long hidden and mysterious suffering 
and failure, abstinence, stunting? Has “illness” made the European 
“better”? Or, in other words; is our morality — our modem sensi- 
tive European morality, which may be compared with the morality 
of the Chinese — the expression of a physiological regression? — 

For one cannot deny that every period in history in which 
“man” has shown himself in exceptional splendor and power at 
once assumed an impetuous, dangerous, and eruptive character 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 213 

under which humanity fared ill; and perhaps in those cases in 
which it seems otherwise, all that was lacking was the courage or 
subtlety to take psychology into the depths and to find there, too, 
the universal law: “the healthier, stronger, richer, more fruitful, 
more enterprising a man feels, the more ‘immoral’ he will be, 
too.” A painful thought! in which one certainly ought not to 
indulge! If, however, one goes along with it for just a few moments, 
how astonishing the future seems then! What would then be paid 
for more dearly than precisely that which we are promoting with 
all our strength — the humanizing, the “improvement,” the grow- 
ing “civilization” of man? Nothing would be more costly than 
virtue: for one would in the end have turned the earth into a 
hospital: and ultimate wisdom would be “everyone as everyone 
else’s nurse.” To be sure* one would then possess that much- 
desired “peace on earth”! But how little “delight in each other”! 
How little beauty, high spirits, daring, danger! How few “works” 
for the sake of which life on earth is worth while! And, alas, no 
more “deeds” whatever! All great works and deeds that have re- 
mained and have not been washed away by the waters of time — 
were they not all in the profoundest sense immoralities? — 

396 {Jan. -Fail 1888 ) 

The priests — and with them the semi-priests, the philosophers 
— have at all times called true any teaching whose educative effect 
was beneficial of seemed beneficial— which “improved.” In this 
they resemble a naive quack and miracle man of the people, who, 
because he has used a poison as a cure, denies it is a poison — 
“By their fruits shall ye know them— namely, our ‘truths’ ”: that 
has been the reasoning of the priests to this day. With fateful 
results, they have expended their subtlety to make the “proof of 
power” (or “from their fruits”) pre-eminent, even decisive, above 
all other forms of proof. “What makes good must be good; what 
is good cannot lie” — that is their relentless conclusion — : “what 
bears good fruit must be true : there is no other criterion of truth” — 

But if “making better” counts as an argument, then making 
worse must count as a refutation. One can prove an error to be 
an error by testing the lives of those who espouse it: a mistake, a 
vice can refute — This most indecent form of opposition, from 
behind and below, the doglike form of opposition, has not died 
out either: the priests, in so far as they are psychologists, have 



214 


THE WILL TO POWER 


never discovered anything more interesting than to sniff at the 
secrets of their adversaries — they demonstrate their Christianity 
by looking about the “world” for filth. Especially with the first 
men of the world, with the “geniuses”: one will remember how 
Goethe has been attacked in Germany at all times (Kiopstock 
and Herder were the first to provide a “good example” of this — 
kind sticks to kind). 


397 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

One must be very immoral in order to make morals by 
deeds — The means of the moralist are the most terrible means 
that have ever been employed; he who has not the courage for 
immorality in deeds is fit for anything, but he is not fit to be a 
moralist. 

Morality is a menagerie; its presupposition is that iron bars 
can be more profitable than freedom, even for the prisoners; its 
other presupposition is that there exist animal-trainers who are not 
afraid of terrible means — who know how to handle red-hot iron. 
This frightful species which takes up the fight against the wild 
animal is called “priest.” 

* 

Man, imprisoned in an iron cage of errors, became a carica- 
ture of man, sick, wretched, ill-disposed toward himself, full of 
hatred for the impulses of life, full of mistrust of all that is beauti- 
ful and happy in life, a walking picture of misery: this artificial, 
arbitrary, recent abortion that the priests have pulled up out of 
their soil, the “sinner”: how shall we be able, in spite of all, to 
justify this phenomenon? 

* 

In order to be fair to morality, we must put two zoological 
concepts in its place: taming of the beast and breeding of a 
particular species. 

The priests have pretended at all times that they want to 
“improve” — But we others would laugh if an animal-trainer spoke 
of his “improved” animals. In most cases, the taming of a beast 
is achieved through the harming of a beast: the moral man, too, is 
not a better man but only a weaker one. But he is less harmful — 115 

'“Cf. Twilight, "The ‘Improvers’ of Mankind” ( Portable Nietzsche, 
p. 501 ff). 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 


215 


398 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

What I want to make clear by all the means in my power: 
a. that there is no worse . confusion than the confusion of 
breeding with taming: which is what has been done — Breeding, 
as I understand it, is a means of storing up the tremendous forces 
of mankind so that the generations can build upon the work of 
their forefathers — not only outwardly, but inwardly, organically 
growing out of them and becoming something stronger — 

b. that it is extraordinarily dangerous to believe that man- 
kind as a whole will progress and grow stronger if individuals 
become flabby, equal, average — Mankind is an abstraction: the 
goal of breeding, even in the case of a single individual, can only 
be the stronger man (—the man without breeding is weak, ex- 
travagant^ unstable — ) . 


6. Further Considerations for a 
Critique of Morality 

399 ( 1885-1886 ) 

These are the demands I make upon you — however ill they 
may sound to you: that you should undertake a critique of the 
moral evaluations themselves. That you should call a halt to the 
moral impulse, which here demands submission and not a critique, 
with the question: “why submission?” That you should regard 
this demand for a “wherefore?”, for a critique of morality, as 
precisely your present form of morality, as the sublimest form of 
morality, which does honor to you and to your age. That our 
honesty, our will not to deceive ourselves, must prove itself: why 
not ? — Before what tribunal? The will not to let oneself be de- 
ceived is of different origin: a caution against being overpowered, 
exploited — one of life’s instincts of self-defense. 118 


,M The last sentence, omitted from all editions, has here been restored, 
and the penultimate sentence revised, in acordance with the MS and 1911, 
p. 504. 

For the contrast implicit in the last two sentences see also The Gay 
Science, Book V, section 344, which is discussed at length in my Nietzsche, 
Chapter 12, section III. 



216 


THE WILL TO POWER 


400 {1883-1888) 

The three assertions: 

The ignoble is the higher (protest of the “common man”); 

the antinatural is the higher (protest of the underprivileged); 

the average is the higher (protest of the herd, of the “medi- 
ocre”) . 

Thus in the history of morality a will to power finds expres- 
sion, through which now the slaves and oppressed, now the ill- 
constituted and those who suffer from themselves, now the mediocre 
attempt to make those value judgments prevail that are favorable 
to them . 

To this extent, the phenomenon of morality is, from a bio- 
logical standpoint, highly suspicious. Morality has developed 
hitherto at the expense of: the rulers and their specific instincts, the 
well-constituted and beautiful natures, those who are in any sense 
independent and privileged. 

Morality is therefore an opposition movement against the 
efforts of nature to achieve a higher type. Its effect is: mistrust of 
life in general (in so far as its tendencies are considered “im- 
moral”) — hostility toward the senses (in so far as the supreme 
values are considered to be opposed to the supreme instincts) — 
degeneration and self-destruction of “higher natures,” because it 
is precisely in them that the conflict becomes conscious. 

401 ( March-June 1888) 

The Values That Have Been on Top Hitherto 

Morality as the supreme value, in all phases of philosophy 
(even among the skeptics). Result: this world is good for nothing, 
there must be a “real world.” 

What really determines the supreme value here? What is 
morality really? The instinct of decadence; it is the exhausted 
and disinherited who in this way take their revenge and play 
the master — 

Historical proof: the philosophers always decadents, always 
in the service of the nihilistic religions. 

The instinct of decadence which appears as will to power. 
Introduction of its system of means: absolute immorality of means. 



BOOK TWO: Critique of Highest Values 217 

General insight : supreme values hitherto are a special case 
of the will to power; morality itself is a special case of immorality. 

* 

Why the Opposing Values Always Succumbed 

h How was this really possible? Question: why did life, 
physiological well-constitutedness everywhere succumb? Why was 
there no affirmative philosophy, no affirmative religion? — 

The historical signs of such movements: the pagan religion. 
Dionysus versus the “Crucified.” The Renaissance. Art. 

2. The strong and the weak: the healthy and the sick; the 
exception and the rule. There is no doubt who is the stronger — 

General aspect of history: Is man therefore an exception in 
the history of life? — Objection to Darwinism. The means the 
weak employ to keep themselves on top have become instincts, 
“humanity,” “institutions” — 

3. Proof of this dominion in our political instincts, in our 
social value judgments, in our arts, in our science. 

* 

The declining instincts have become master over the ascending 
instincts — The will to nothingness has become master over the 
will to life! 

— Is this true? is there perhaps not a stronger guarantee of 
life in this victory of the weak and mediocre? — is it perhaps only 
a means in the total movement of life, a slackening of tempo? a 
self-defense against something even worse? 

— Suppose the strong had become master in everything, and 
even in moral valuation: let us draw the consequences of how 
they would think about sickness, suffering, sacrifice! Self-con- 
tempt on the part of the weak would be the result; they would 
try to disappear and extinguish themselves. And would this be 
desirable ? — and would we really want a world in which the in- 
fluence of the weak, their subtlety, consideration, spirituality, 
pliancy was lacking? — 


* 

We have seen two “wills to power” in conflict (in this special 
case: we had a principle, that of considering right those who 
hitherto succumbed, and wrong those who hitherto prevailed): 
we have recognized the “real world” as a “false world” and 



218 


the will to power 


morality as a form of immorality. We do not say: “The stronger 
is wrong.” 

We have grasped what it was that determined supreme value 
and why it became master over the opposing valuation — : it was 
stronger numerically. 

Now let us purify the opposite valuation of the infection and 
half-measures of the degeneration characteristic of the form in 
which it is known to us. 

Restoration of nature: moraline-free. 

402 ( Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

Morality a useful error; more clearly in the case of the 
greatest and least prejudiced of its advocates, a lie that is con- 
sidered necessary. 


403 ( 1886-1887 ) 

One may admit the truth to oneself to the point where one 
is sufficiently elevated no longer to require the disciplinary school 
of [moral] 110 error — When one judges existence morally, it 
disgusts. 

One should not invent unreal persons, e.g., one should not 
say “nature is cruel.” Precisely the insight that no such central 
responsible being exists is a relief! 

Evolution of man. a. To gain power over nature and in ad- 
dition a certain power over oneself. (Morality was needed that 
man might prevail in his struggle with nature and the “wild 
animal.”) 

b. If power has been attained over nature, one can employ 
this power in the further free development of oneself: will to power 
as self-elevation and strengthening. 

404 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Morality as an illusion of the species, designed to motivate 
the individual to sacrifice himself to the future: apparently allow- 
ing him an infinite value, so that by means of this self-conscious- 

”* Placed in brackets above because this word, although found in all 
previous editions, including Schlechta’s, is not found in the MS. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 219 

ness he should tyrannize over and keep down other sides of his 
nature and find it hard to be content with himself. 

Profoundest gratitude for that which morality has achieved 
hitherto: but now it is only a burden which may become a fatality! 
Morality itself, in the form of honesty, compels us to deny morality. 

405 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

End 117 

To what an extent the self-destruction of morality is still a 
part of its own force. We Europeans have in us the blood of those 
who died for their faith; we have taken morality to be serious 
and awesome, and there is nothing that we have not in some way 
sacrificed to it. On the other hand: our spiritual subtlety has es- 
sentially been attained through conscience-vivisection. We do not 
yet know the “wither” toward which we are driven once we have 
detached ourselves from our old soil. But it was from this same 
soil that we acquired the force which now drives us forth into the 
distance, into adventures, thrusting us into the boundless, the un- 
tried, the undiscovered — we have no choice left, we have to be 
conquerors once we no longer have any country in which we are 
at home, in which we would want to “preserve” things. A con- 
cealed Yes drives us that is stronger than all our No’s. Our 
strength itself will no longer endure us in the old decaying soil: 
we venture away, we venture ourselves: the world is still rich and 
undiscovered, and even to perish is better than to become half- 
hearted and poisonous. Our strength itself drives us to sea, where 
all suns have hitherto gone down: we know of a new world — 

1,1 This beading, though in the MS, has been deleted in all previous 
editions, including Schlechta’s. 



III. CRITIQUE OF PHILOSOPHY 
1. General Observations 


406 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Let us get rid of a few superstitions about philosophers that 
have been common so far! 


407 (1884) 

Philosophers are prejudiced against appearance, change, pain, 
death, the corporeal, the senses, fate and bondage, the aimless. 

They believe first in: absolute knowledge, (2) in knowledge 
for the sake of knowledge, (3) in an association between virtue 
and happiness, (4) in the comprehensibility of human actions. 
[They are]? 18 led by instinctive moral definitions in which former 
cultural conditions are reflected (more dangerous ones). 

408 (1884) 

What do philosophers lack? (a) 118 an historical sense, (b) 
knowledge of physiology, (c) a goal in the future — The ability 
to formulate a critique without any irony or moral condemnation. 

409 (1885) 

Philosophers ( 1 ) have had from the first a wonderful capacity 
for the contradictio in adjecto; (2) they have trusted in concepts 
as completely as they have mistrusted the senses: they have not 
stopped to consider that concepts and words are our inheritance 
from ages in which thinking was very modest and unclear. 

What dawns on philosophers last of all: they must no longer 
accept concepts as a gift, nor merely purify and polish them, but 
first make and create them, present them and make them con- 
vincing. Hitherto one has generally trusted one’s concepts as if 

Not in the MS. The German editors made other minor changes in 
this note. 

‘“Although the MS has (a), (b), (c), all previous editions have 1, 


2 , 3 . 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 221 

they were a wonderful dowry from some sort of wonderland: but 
they are, after all, the inheritance from our most remote, most 
foolish as well as most intelligent ancestors. This piety toward what 
we find in us is perhaps part of the moral element in knowledge. 
What is needed above ail is an absolute skepticism toward all 
inherited concepts (of the kind that one philosopher perhaps 
possessed — Plato, of course — for he taught the reverse). 

410 (1885-1886) 

For the Preface 120 

Deeply mistrustful of the dogmas of epistemology, I loved to 
look now out of this window, now out of that; I guarded against 
settling down with any of these dogmas, considered them harmful 
— and finally: is it likely that a tool is able to criticize its own 
fitness? — What I noticed was rather that no epistemological 
skepticism or dogmatism had ever arisen free from ulterior motives 
— that it acquires a value of the second rank as soon as one has 
considered what it was that compelled the adoption of this point 
of view. 

Fundamental insight: Kant as well as Hegel and Schopen- 
hauer — the skeptical-epochistic attitude as well as the historicizing, 
as well as the pessimistic— have a moral origin. I saw no one who 
had ventured a critique of moral value feelings: and I soon turned 
my back on the meagre attempts made to arrive at a description of 
the origin of these feelings (as by the English and German 
Darwinists) . 

How can Spinoza’s position, his denial and rejection of moral 
value judgments, be explained? (It was one consequence of his 
theodicy!) 


411 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

Morality as supreme devaluation . — Either our world is the 
work and expression (modus) of God: in which case it must be 
supremely perfect (Leibniz’s conclusion) — and one never doubted 
that one knew what constituted perfection — in which case evil 
must be only apparent (Spinoza is more radical, applying this to 

‘"This heading has been deleted in all previous editions. This section 
is discussed in my Nietzsche, Chapter 2, section II. 




222 THE WILL TO POWER 

the concepts good and evil), or must proceed from God’s supreme 
purpose ( — perhaps as consequence of a particular mark of favor 
by God, who allows a choice between good and evil: the privilege 
of not being an automaton; “freedom” at the risk of making a 
mistake, of choosing wrongly — e.g., see Simplicius in his com- 
mentary on Epictetus). 

Or our world is imperfect, evil and guilt are actual and 
determined and absolutely inherent in its nature; in which case 
it cannot be the real world: in which case knowledge is only the 
way to a denial of it, for the world is an error which can be known 
to be an error. This is the opinion of Schopenhauer on the basis of 
Kantian presuppositions. Pascal is even more desperate: he com- 
prehended that, in that case, even knowledge must be corrupt and 
falsified — that revelation was needed even to understand that the 
world ought to be denied. 

412 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Because we are used to unconditional authorities we have 
come to need unconditional authorities: — this need is so strong 
that, even in a critical age such as Kant’s, it showed itself superior 
to the need for criticism and was, in a certain sense, able to subject 
the entire work of critical reason and put it to its own uses. — It 
proved its superiority once again in the following generation, which 
was necessarily drawn by its historical instinct toward a relativity 
of all authority, by pressing into its service even the Hegelian 
philosophy of evolution, history re-baptized philosophy, and pre- 
senting history as the progressive self-revelation, self-surpassing 
of moral ideas. Since Plato, philosophy has been dominated by 
morality. Even in his predecessors, moral interpretations play a 
decisive role (with Anaximander, the perishing of all things as 
punishment for their emancipation from pure being; with Hera- 
clitus, the regularity of phenomena as witness to the moral-legal 
character of the whole world of becoming). 

413 (1885) 

Ulterior moral motives have hitherto most obstructed the 
course of philosophy. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


223 


414 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 121 

In all ages, one has taken “beautiful feelings” for arguments, 
the “heaving bosom” for the bellows of divinity, convictions for 
a “criterion of truth,” the need of an opponent for a question 
mark against wisdom: this falsehood, this counterfeiting, per- 
meates the whole history of philosophy. The skeptics — respectable 
but rare — excepted, an instinct for intellectual integrity is nowhere 
evident. At last even Kant tried in all innocence to make this 
thinkers’ corruption scientific by means of the concept “practical 
reason”: he invented a reason expressly for those cases in which 
one would not need to bother about reason: namely, when the 
needs of the heart, when morality, when "duty” speaks. 

415 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Hegel: his popular side the doctrine of war and great men. 
Right is with the victorious: they represent the progress of man- 
kind. Attempt to prove the dominion of morality by means of 
history. 

Kant: a realm of moral values, withdrawn from us, invisible, 

real. 

Hegel: a demonstrable development, a becoming-visible of 
the moral realm. 

Let us not be deceived either in the Kantian or in the Hegelian 
manner: — we no longer believe in morality, as they did, and con- 
sequently we have no need to found a philosophy with the aim 
of justifying morality. Neither the critical nor the historicist phil- 
osophy has any charm for us in this respect: — so what charm has it, 
then? — 


416 ( 1885-1886 ) 

The significance of German philosophy (Hegel): to evolve 
a pantheism through which evil, error, and suffering are not felt 
as arguments against divinity. This grandiose project has been 
misused by the existing powers (state, etc.), as if it sanctioned the 
rationality of whoever happened to be ruling. 

“‘Utilized in Antichrist, section 12 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 578-79). 


224 


THE WILL TO POWER 


Schopenhauer, on the other hand, appears as a stubborn 
morality-man who, in order to justify his moral valuation, finally 
becomes a world-denier. Finally a “mystic.” 

I myself have attempted an aesthetic justification: how is 
the ugliness of the world possible?-— I took the will to beauty, 
to persist in like forms, for a temporary means of preservation 
and recuperation: fundamentally, however, the eternally-creative 
appeared to me to be, as the eternal compulsion to destroy, 
associated with pain. The ugly is the form things assume when we 
view them with the will to implant a meaning, a new meaning, 
into what has become meaningless: the accumulated force which 
compels the creator to consider all that has been created hitherto 
as unacceptable, ill-constituted, worthy of being denied, ugly! — 

417 (1883-1888) 

My first solution: Dionysian wisdom. Joy in the destruction 
of the most noble and at the sight of its progressive ruin: in reality 
joy in what is coming and lies in the future, which triumphs over 
existing things, however good. Dionysian: temporary identification 
with the principle of life (including the voluptuousness of the 
martyr) . 

My innovations . — Further development of pessimism: in- 
tellectual pessimism; critique of morality, disintegration of the 
last consolation. Knowledge of the signs of decay: veils with 
illusion every firm action; culture isolates, is unjust and therefore 
strong. 

1. My endeavor to oppose decay and increasing weakness 
of personality. I sought a new center. 

2. Impossibility of this endeavor recognized. 

3. Thereupon I advanced further down the road of disin- 

tegration — where I found new sources of strength for individuals. 
We have to be destroyers! I perceived that the state of dis- 

integration, in which individual natures can perfect themselves as 
never before — is an image and isolated example of existence in 
general. To the paralyzing sense of general disintegration and in- 
completeness I opposed the eternal recurrence. 

418 ( 1883-1888 ) 

One seeks a picture of the world in that philosophy in which 



BOOK TWO: Critique of Highest Values 225 

we feel freest; i.e., in which our most powerful drive feels free 
to function. This will also be the case with me! 

419 ( 1885 ) 

German philosophy as a whole — Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Scho- 
penhauer, to name the greatest — is the most fundamental form 
of romanticism and homesickness there has ever been: the longing 
for the best that ever existed. One is no longer at home anywhere; 
at last one longs back for that place in which alone one can be 
at home, because it is the only place in which one would want to 
be at home: the Greek world! But it is in precisely that direc- 
tion that all bridges are broken- — except the rainbow-bridges 
of concepts! And these lead everywhere, into all the homes and 
“fatherlands” that existed for Greek souls! To be sure, one 
must be very subtle, very light, very thin to step across these 
bridges! But what happiness there is already in this will to spirit- 
uality, to ghostliness almost! How far it takes one from “pressure 
and stress,” from the mechanistic awkwardness of the natural 
sciences, from the market hubbub of “modern ideas”! One wants 
to go back, through the Church Fathers to the Greeks, from the 
north to the south, from the formulas to the Forms; one still 
relishes the exit from antiquity, Christianity, as an entrance to 
it, as in itself a goodly piece of the old world, as a glittering mosaic 
of ancient concepts and ancient value judgments. Arabesques, 
flourishes, rococo of scholastic abstractions — still better, that is 
to say subtler and thinner, than the peasant and mob reality of 
the European north, still a protest of higher spirituality against 
the peasants’ war and mob rebellion that has become master of 
spiritual taste in northern Europe and has found its leader in 
the great “unspiritual man,” Luther: in this respect, German 
philosophy is a piece of counter-Reformation, even of Renaissance, 
at least will to Renaissance, will to go on with the discovery of 
antiquity, the digging up of ancient philosophy, above all of the 
pre-Socratics — the most deeply buried of all Greek temples! A 
few centuries hence, perhaps, one will judge that all German 
philosophy derives its real dignity from being a gradual reclamation 
of the soil of antiquity, and that all claims to “originality” must 
sound petty and ludicrous in relation to that higher claim of the 
Germans to have joined anew the bond that seemed to be broken, 
the bond with the Greeks, the hitherto highest type of man. Today 



226 


THE WILL TO POWER 


we are again getting close to all those fundamental forms of 
world interpretation devised by the Greek spirit through Anaxi- 
mander, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Democritus, and 
Anaxagoras — we are growing more Greek by the day; at first, as 
is only fair, in concepts and evaluations, as Helienizing ghosts, 
as it were: but one day, let us hope, also in our bodies! Herein lies 
(and has always Iain) my hope for the German character! 

420 ( 1884 ) 

I do not wish to persuade anyone to philosophy: it is inevit- 
able, it is perhaps also desirable, that the philosopher should be a 
rare plant. I find nothing more repugnant than didactic praise of 
philosophy, as one finds it in Seneca, or worse, Cicero. Philosophy 
has little to do with virtue. Permit me to say that the scholar and 
scientist , 122 too, are fundamentally different from the philoso- 
pher. — What I desire is that the genuine concept of the philosopher 
should not utterly perish in Germany. There are so many half- 
hearted creatures of all kinds in Germany who would be glad to 
conceal their ill-constitutedness beneath so noble a name. 

421 ( 1884 ) 

I have to set up the most difficult ideal of the philosopher. 
Learning is not enough! The scholar is the herd animal in the realm 
of knowledge — who inquires because he is ordered to and because 
others have done so before him. — 

422 ( 1885 ) 

Superstition about philosophers: confusion with scholars and 
scientists. As if values were inherent in things and all one had to 
do was grasp them! To what extent they study under the direc- 
tion 123 of given values (their hatred of appearance, the body, etc.). 
Schopenhauer concerning morality (mockery of utilitarianism). At 
last, confusion goes so far that one regards Darwinism as phil- 
osophy: and now the scholars and scientists dominate. Even French- 
men like Taine inquire, or think they inquire, without being already 
in possession of a standard of values. Prostration before “facts,” 

1,1 “Scholar and scientist”: der wissenschaftliche Mensch. 
m Einfliisterung-, Peter Gast’s conjecture; MS illegible. 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 227 

a kind of cult. In reality, they destroy the existing evaluations. 

Explanation of this misunderstanding. The man who can 
command rarely appears: he misinterprets himself. One positively 
wants to repudiate one’s own authority and assign it to circum- 
stances. — In Germany, the esteem of the critic belongs to 
the history of awakening manhood. Lessing, etc. (Napoleon on 
Goethe). As a matter of fact, this movement was again reversed 
by German romanticism; and the fame of German philosophy 
depends on that, as if the danger of skepticism had thus been 
removed and faith could be proved. Both tendencies culminate 
in Hegel: at bottom, he generalized German criticism and German 
romanticism — a kind of dialectical fatalism, but in honor of the 
spirit, in fact with the submission of the philosopher to reality. 
The critic prepares the way: no more! 

With Schopenhauer the task of the philosopher dawns: the 
determination of value; still under the domination of eudaemonism. 
The ideal of pessimism. 

423 (March-June 1888 ) 

Theory and practice . 124 — Fateful distinction, as if there were 
an actual drive for knowledge that, without regard to questions of 
usefulness and harm, went blindly for the truth; and then, separate 
from this, the whole world of practical interests — 

I tried to show, on the other hand, what instincts have been 
active behind all these pure theoreticians — how they have all, 
under the spell of their instincts, gone fatalistically for something 
that was “truth” for them — for them and only for them. The con- 
flict between different systems, including that between epistemo- 
logical scruples, is a conflict between quite definite instincts (forms 
of vitality, decline, classes, races, etc.). 

The so-called drive for knowledge can be traced back to a 
drive to appropriate and conquer: the senses, the memory, the 
instincts, etc. have developed as a consequence of this drive. The 
quickest possible reduction of the phenomena, economy, the 
accumulation of the spoils of knowledge (i.e., of world appro- 
priated and made manageable) — 

Morality is such a curious science because it is in the highest 
degree practical, so that the position of pure knowledge, scientific 
integrity, is at once abandoned as soon as the claims of morality 


Cf. section 458 below. 




228 


THE WILL TO POWER 


must be answered. Morality says: I need many answers — reasons, 
arguments; scruples can come afterward, or not at all — . 

“How should one act?” — If one considers that one is dealing 
with a sovereignly developed type that has “acted” for countless 
millennia, and in which everything has become instinct, expediency, 
automatism, fatality, then the urgency of this moral question must 
actually seem ridiculous. 

“How should one act?” — Morality has always been a mis- 
understanding: in reality, a species fated to act in this or that 
fashion wanted to justify itself, by dictating its norm as the 
universal norm — 

“How should one act?” is not a cause but an effect. Morality 
follows, the ideal comes at the end. 

— On the other hand, the appearance of moral scruples (in 
other words: the becoming-conscious of the values by which one 
acts) betrays a certain sickliness; strong ages and peoples do not 
reflect on their rights, on the principles on which they act, on their 
instincts and reasons. Becoming-conscious is a sign that real 
morality, i.e., instinctive certainty in actions, is going to the devil — 
Every time a new world of consciousness is created, the moralists 
are a sign of damage, impoverishment, disorganization. — The 
deeply instinctive are shy of logicizing duties: among them are 
found Pyrrhonic opponents of dialectics and of knowability in 
general — A virtue is refuted with a “for” — 

Thesis: the appearance of moralists belongs to an age in which 
morality is coming to an end. 

Thesis: the moralist disintegrates the moral instincts, however 
much he may suppose himself to be their restorer. 

Thesis: that which really drives the moralist is not the moral 
instincts but the instincts of decadence translated into the formulas 
of morality — (he regards it as corruption when the instincts 
become uncertain). 

Thesis: the instincts of decadence, which, through the mora- 
lists, want to become master over the instinctive morality of strong 
races and ages, are 

1. the instincts of the weak and underprivileged; 

2. the instincts of the exceptions, the solitaries, the abandoned, 
of the abortus 128 in what is lofty and what is petty. 

3. the instincts of those habituated to suffering, who need 


Abortion. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 229 

a noble interpretation of their condition and therefore must know 
as little as possible about physiology. 

424 (1885) 

The tartuffery of scientific manners. 128 One must not 

affect scientific manners where the time has not yet come to be 
scientific; but even the genuine investigator has to abandon the 
vanity of affecting a kind of method for which fundamentally 
the time has not yet come. Just as he must not “falsify” things 
and thoughts at which he has arrived in another way by imposing 
on them a false arrangement of deduction and dialectic. Thus 
Kant falsified in his “morality” his inner psychological tendency; 
a more recent example is Herbert Spencer’s ethics. — 

One should not conceal and corrupt the facts of how our 
thoughts have come to us. The profoundest and least exhausted 
books will probably always have something of the aphoristic and 
unexpected character of Pascal’s Pensees. The driving forces and 
evaluations have long lain below the surface; what comes out is 
effect. 

I fight all the tartuffery of false scientific manners: 

1. in the demonstration, if it does not correspond to the 
genesis of thoughts; 

2. in the claims to methods that are perhaps not yet possible 
at a certain stage of science; 

3. in the claims to objectivity, to cold impersonality, where, 
as in the case of all valuations, we describe ourselves and our 
inner experiences in a couple of words. There are ludicrous forms 
of vanity, e.g., that of Saint-Beuve, who worried all his life that 
he had now and then exhibited real warmth and passion either 
“for” or “against,” and would gladly have lied that fact out of 
his life. 


425 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

“Objectivity” in the philosopher: moral indifference toward 
oneself, blindness toward good or ill consequences: lack of scruples 
about using dangerous means; perversity and multiplicity of charac- 
ter considered and exploited as an advantage. 

My profound indifference toward myself: I desire no advan- 


Wissenschaftlichkeit. 



230 


THE WILL TO POWER 


tage from my insights and do not avoid the disadvantages that 
accompany them. — Here I include what might be called corruption 
of the character; this perspective is beside the point: I use my 
character, but try neither to understand nor to change it — the per- 
sonal calculus of virtue has not entered my head for a moment. 
It seems to me that one shuts the door on knowledge as soon as 
one becomes interested in one’s own case — or, worse, the “salv- 
ation of one’s soul”!-— One must not take one’s morality too seri- 
ously and not let oneself be deprived of a modest right to its 
opposite — 

A sort of inherited wealth of morality is perhaps presupposed 
here: one senses that one can squander a lot of it and throw it 
out the window without really impoverishing oneself. Never to 
feel tempted to admire “beautiful souls”; always to know oneself 
their superior. To encounter the monsters of virtue with an inward 
mockery; deniaiser la vertu 127 — a secret pleasure. 

To revolve about oneself; no desire to become “better” or in 
any way “other.” Too interested not to throw the tentacles or 
nets of every morality out to things — . 

426 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Toward a psychology of the psychologist. Psychologists as 
they are possible only beginning with the nineteenth century: no 
longer those loafers who look a mere three or four steps ahead and 
are almost content to burrow inside themselves. We psychologists 
of the future — we have little patience with introspection: we almost 
take it for a sign of degeneration when an instrument tries “to 
know itself’: we are instruments of knowledge and would like to 
possess all the naivete and precision of an instrument — con- 
sequently, we must not analyze ourselves, “know” ourselves. First 
mark of the self-preservative instinct of the great psychologist: 
he never seeks himself, he has no eyes for himself, no interest or 
curiosity in himself 128 — The great egoism of our dominating will 
requires that we shut our eyes to ourselves — that we must seem 
to be “impersonal,” "desinteresse,” “objective”! — oh, how much 
we are the opposite of this! Just because we are to an eccentric 
degree psychologists. 

m To best virtue. 

u *Cf. Twilight, Chapter I, section 35: “A psychologist must tum his 
eyes from himself to eye anything at all.” ( Portable Nietzschce, p. 471.) 




231 


book two: Critique of Highest Values 

We are no Pascals, we are not especially interested in the 
“salvation of the soul,” in our own happiness, in our own virtue. — 
We have neither the time nor the curiosity to rotate about ourselves 
in that way. Considered more deeply, the case is different yet: 
we mistrust from the heart all navel gazing, because to us self- 
observation counts as a form of degeneration of the psychological 
genius, as a question mark against the instinct of the psychologist: 
just as surely as a painter’s eye is degenerate if it is governed by 
the will to see for the sake of seeing. 


2. Critique of Greek Philosophy 

427 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The appearance of the Greek philosophers from Socrates 
onwards is a symptom of decadence; the anti-Hellenic instincts 
come to the top 

The “Sophist” is still completely Hellenic — including Anaxa- 
goras, Democritus, the great Ionians — -but as a transitional form. 
The polls loses its faith in the uniqueness of its culture, in its right 
to rule over every other polis — One exchanges cultures, i.e., “the 
gods” — one thereby loses faith in the sole prerogative of the deus 
autochthonus. Good and evil of differing origin are mingled: 
the boundary between good and evil is blurred — This is the 
“Sophist” — 

The “philosopher,” on the other hand, is the reaction : he 
desires the old virtue. He sees the grounds of decay 129 in the decay 
of institutions, he desires old institutions; — he sees the decay in 
the decay of authority: he seeks new authorities (travels abroad, 
into foreign literatures, into exotic religions — ); he desires the 
ideal polis after the concept “polis” has had its day (approximately 
as the Jews held firm as a “people” after they had fallen into 
slavery). They are interested in all tyrants: they want to restore 
virtue by force majeure. 

Gradually everything genuinely Hellenic is made responsible 
for the state of decay (and Plato is just as ungrateful to Pericles, 
Homer, tragedy, rhetoric, as the prophets were to David and 
Saul). The decline of Greece is understood as an objection to the 


«» <jecay”: uncertain reading; MS illegible. 




232 


THE WILL TO POWER 


foundations of Hellenic culture: basic error of philosophers — . 
Conclusion: the Greek world perishes. Cause: Homer, myth, the 
ancient morality, etc. 

The anti-Hellenic development of the philosophers’ value 
judgment: — the Egyptian (“life after death” as a court of law — ) ; 
the Semitic (the “dignity of the sage,” the “sheik”);— the Pythago- 
reans, the subterranean cults, silence, terrorization with a beyond, 
mathematics; the religious valuation, a kind of traffic with the 
cosmos; — the priestly, ascetic, transcendental; — dialectic— surely 
a repellent and pedantic concept splitting already in Plato? — 
Decline of good taste in spiritual matters: one is already insensitive 
to the ugliness and noisiness of all direct dialectics. 

Two decadence movements and extremes run side by side: 
(a) sensual, charmingly wicked decadence, loving art and show, 
and (b) gloomy religio-moral pathos, Stoic self-hardening, Platonic 
slander of the senses, preparation of the soil for Christianity. 

428 ( March-Jme 1888 ) 

How far psychologists have been corrupted by the moral 
idiosyncrasy: — not one of the ancient philosophers had the courage 
for a theory of the “unfree will” (i.e., for a theory that denies 
morality); — no one had the courage to define the typical element 
in pleasure, every sort of pleasure (“happiness”) as the feeling of 
power: for to take pleasure in power was considered immoral; 
—no one had the courage to conceive virtue as a consequence of 
immorality (of a will to power) in the service of the species (or 
of the race or polis ), for the will to power was considered 
immorality. 

In the entire evolution of morality, truth never appears: all 
the conceptual elements employed are fictions; all the psychologica 
accepted are falsifications; all the forms of logic dragged into this 
realm of lies are sophistries. What distinguishes moral philosophers 
themselves is a complete absence of cleanliness and intellectual 
self-discipline: they take “beautiful feelings” for arguments: they 
regard their “heaving bosom” as the bellows of divinity — Moral 
philosophy is the scabrous period in the history of the spirit. ,:t " 

The first great example: in the name of morality, under the 
patronage or morality, an unheard-of wrong was perpetrated, in 


"*Cf. section 414 above. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 233 

fact a piece of decadence in every respect. One cannot insist too 
strongly upon the fact that the great Greek philosophers represent 
the decadence of every kind of Greek excellence and make 
it contagious — “Virtue” made completely abstract was the greatest 
seduction to make oneself abstract: i. e., to detach oneself. 

It is a very remarkable moment: the Sophists verge upon the 
first critique of morality, the first insight into morality: — they 
juxtapose the multiplicity (the geographical relativity) of the 
moral value judgments; — they let it be known that every morality 
can be dialetically justified; i.e., they divine that all attempts to 
give reasons for morality are necessarily sophistical — a proposition 
later proved on the grand scale by the ancient philosophers, from 
Plato onwards (down to Kant); — they postulate the first truth 
that a “morality-in-itself,” a “good-in-itself” do not exist, that it is 
a swindle to talk of “truth” in this field. 

Where was intellectual integrity in those days? 

The Greek culture of the Sophists had developed out of all 
the Greek instincts; it belongs to the culture of the Periclean age 
as necessarily as Plato does not: it has its predecessors in Heraclitus, 
in Democritus, in the scientific types of the old philosophy; it 
finds expression in, e.g., the high culture of Thucydides. And — 
it has ultimately shown itself to be right: every advance in episte- 
mological and moral knowlege has reinstated the Sophists — Our 
contemporary way of thinking is to a great extent Hefaclitean, 
Democritean, and Protagorean: it suffices to say it is Protagorean, 
because Protagoras represented a synthesis of Heraclitus and 
Democritus. 

(Plato: a great Cagliostro — remember how Epicurus judged 

him; 131 how Timon, the friend of Pyrrho, judged him Is Plato’s 

integrity beyond question? — But we know at least that he wanted 
to have taught as absolute truth what he himself did not regard as 
even conditionally true: namely, the separate existence and separate 
immortality of “souls.”) 

429 {March-} une 1888 ) 

The Sophists are no more than realists: they formulate the 
values and practices common to everyone on the level of values — 


’"See Beyond Good and Evil, section 7 (New York: Vintage, 1966); 
also section 434 below. 




234 


THE Will TO POWER 


they possess the courage of all strong spirits to know their own 
immorality — 

Do you suppose perchance that these little Greek free cities, 
which from rage and envy would have liked to devour each other, 
were guided by philanthropic and righteous principles? Does one 
reproach Thucydides for the words he put into the mouths of the 
Athenian ambassadors when they negotiated with the Melians 
on the question of destruction or submission? 

Only complete Tartuffes could possibly have talked of virtue 
in the midst of this terrible tension — or men living apart, hermits, 
refugees, and emigrants from reality — people who negated in 
order to be able to live themselves— 

The Sophists were Greeks: when Socrates and Plato took up 
the cause of virtue and justice, they were Jews or I know not 
what — Grote’s tactics in defense of the Sophists are false: he 
wants to raise them to the rank of men of honor and ensigns of 
morality — but it was their honor not to indulge in any swindle with 
big words and virtues — 


430 (March-June 1888) 

The great rationality of all education in morality has always 
been that one tried to attain to the certainty of an instinct: so 
that neither good intentions nor good means had to enter con- 
sciousness as such. As the soldier exercises, so should man learn 
to act. In fact, this unconsciousness belongs to any kind of per- 
fection: even the mathematician employs his combinations un- 
consciously — 

What, then, is the significance of the reaction of Socrates, who 
recommended dialectics as the road to virtue and made mock when 
morality did not know how to justify itself logically? — As if this 
were not part of its value — without unconsciousness it is no good — 

Positing proofs as the presupposition for personal excellence 
in virtue signified nothing less than the disintegration of Greek 
instincts. They are themselves types of disintegration, all these 
great “virtuous men” and word-spinners. 

In praxi, this means that moral judgments are torn from 
their conditionality, in which they have grown and alone possess 
any meaning, from their Greek and Greek-political ground and 
soil, to be denaturalized under the pretense of sublimation. The 
great concepts “good” and “just” are severed from the presup- 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 235 

positions to which they belong and, as liberated “ideas,” become 
objects of dialectic. One looks for truth in them, one takes them 
for entities or signs of entities: one invents a world where they 
are at home, where they originate — 

In summa: the mischief has already reached its climax in 
Plato — And then one had need to invent the abstractly perfect 
man as well: — good, just, wise, a dialectician — in short, the scare- 
crow of the ancient philosopher: a plant removed from all soil; 
a humanity without any particular regulating instincts; a virtue that 
“proves” itself with reasons. The perfectly absurd “individuum” in 
itself! unnaturalness of the first water — 

In short, the consequence of the denaturalization of moral 
values was the creation of a degenerate type of man— “the good 
man,” “the happy man,” “the wise man.”— Socrates represents 
a moment of the profoundest perversity in the history of values. 

431 {1885-1886 and 1888) 

Socrates. — Tin's reversal of taste in favor of dialectics is 
a great question mark. What was it that really happened? — 
Socrates, the roturier 133 who accomplished it, achieved by means 
of it victory over a more noble taste, the taste of the nobility: — 
the mob achieved victory with dialectics. Before Socrates, the 
dialectical manner was repudiated in good society; one believed 
it compromised one; youth was warned against it. Why this display 
of reasons? Why should one demonstrate? Against others one 
possessed authority. One commanded; that sufficed. Among one’s 
own, inter pares, one possessed tradition, also an authority: and, 
finally, one “understood one another”! One simply had no place 
for dialectic. Besides, one mistrusted such public presentation of 
one’s arguments. Honest things do not display their reasons in 
that way. There is something indecent about showing all one’s 
cards. What can be “demonstrated” is of little worth. — 

The instinct of all party orators knows, moreover, that dia- 
lectics inspire mistrust, that they are very unconvincing. Nothing is 
easier to expunge than the effect of a dialectician. Dialectics can 

““The last paragraph of this section comes from a different notebook. 
The first paragraphs were utilized — in part verbatim — in Twilight, Chapter 
II, sections 5-6 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 475-76). For a detailed discussion 
of Nietzsche’s highly complex attitude toward Socrates, see Kaufmann’s 
Nietzsche, chapter 13. 

113 Nonaristocrat. 




236 


THE WILL TO POWER 


only be an emergency measure. One must experience an emerg- 
ency, one must be obliged to extort one’s rights: otherwise one 
makes no use of dialectics. That is why the Jews were dialecticians, 
why Reynard the Fox was one, why Socrates was one. One has 
a merciless weapon in one’s hand. One can tyrannize with it. 
One compromises when one conquers. One leaves it to one’s 
victim to prove that he is not an idiot. One makes others furious 
and helpless, while one remains the embodiment of cool, trium- 
phant reasonableness oneself — one deprives one’s opponent’s in- 
telligence of potency. — 

The irony of the dialectician is a form of mob revenge: the 
ferocity of the oppressed finds an outlet in the cold knife-thrust 
of the syllogism — 

In Plato, as a man of overexcitable sensuality and enthusiasm, 
the charm of the concept had grown so strong that he involuntarily 
honored and deified the concept as an ideal Form, Intoxication by 
dialectic: as the consciousness of exercising mastery over oneself by 
means of it as a tool of the will to power. 

432 134 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The problem of Socrates. — The two antitheses: the tragic 
disposition, the Socratic disposition — measured according to the 
law of life. 

To what extent the Socratic disposition is a phenomenon of 
decadence: to what extent, however, a robust health and strength 
is still exhibited in the whole habitus, in the dialectics, efficiency, 
and self-discipline of the scientific man ( — the health of the 
plebeian; his wickedness, esprit frondeur , 135 his cunning, his 
canaille au fond 136 are held in check by shrewdness; “ugly”). 

Making ugly: self-mockery, dialectical dryness, shrewdness 
as tyrant in opposition to a “tyrant” (instinct). Everything is 
exaggerated, eccentric, caricature, in Socrates, a buffo with the 
instincts of Voltaire. He discover a new form of agon; 137 he is the 
first fencing master to the leading circles of Athens; he represents 

"‘This section and the immediately following one (433) are found to- 
gether in the same notebook and were utilized in Twilight, Chapter II ( Porta- 
ble Nietzsche, p. 473 #). 

135 Censorious spirit. 

,M Plebeian at bottom. 

Contest. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 237 

nothing but the highest form of shrewdness: he calls it “virtue” 

( — he divined it to be deliverance: he was not shrewd from choice, 
it was de rigueur 13 *) ; to have oneself under control, so as to go 
into battle with reasons and not with affects ( — the cunning of 
Spinoza — the unravelling of the errors caused by affects); — to 
discover that one can capture anyone in whom one produces affects, 
to discover that affects proceed illogically; practice in self-mockery, 
so as to damage the feeling of rancor at its roots. 

I try to understand from what partial and idiosyncratic states 
the Socratic problem derives: his equalization of reason — virtue = 
happiness. It was with this absurdity of a doctrine of identity that 
he fascinated: the philosophers of antiquity never again freed them- 
selves from this fascination — 

Absolute lack of objective interest: hatred for science; the 
idiosyncrasy of feeling oneself as a problem. Socrates’ acoustic 
hallucination: morbid element. When the spirit is rich and inde- 
pendent it most resists any preoccupation with morality. How 
came it that Socrates was a monomaniac in regard to morality? — 
In emergencies, “practical” philosophy steps at once to the fore. 
Morality and religion as chief interests are signs of an emergency. 

433 130 ( March-June 1888 ) 

— Shrewdness, clarity, severity and logicality as weapons 
against the ferocity of the drives. These must be dangerous and 
threaten destruction: otherwise there would be no sense in develop- 
ing shrewdness to the point of making it into a tyrant. To make a 
tyrant of shrewdness: — but for that the drives must be tyrants. 
This is the problem. — In those days it was a very timely problem. 
Reason became — virtue = happiness. 

Solution: The Greek philosophers rest on the same funda- 
mental facts of inner experience as Socrates: five steps from ex- 
cess, from anarchy, from intemperance — all men of decadence. 
They need him as a physician: logic as will to power, to self- 
mastery, to “happiness.” The ferocity and anarchy of the instincts 
in the case of Socrates is a symptom of decadence. The super- 
fetation of logic and of clarity of reason included. Both are abnor- 
malities, both belong together. 

Critique. Decadence betrays itself in this preoccupation with 

” Unavoidable. 

See footnote to the preceding section. 




238 


THE WILL TO POWER 


“happiness” (i.e., with “salvation of the soul,” i.e., to feel one’s 
condition as a danger). The fanaticism of its interest in “happi- 
ness” indicates the pathological nature of the hidden cause: it was 
a life-or-death interest. To be reasonable or perish was the 
alternative before which they all stood. The moralism of the 
Greek philosophers indicates that they felt themselves to be in 
danger — 


434 {March-June 1888) 

Why everything resolved itself into play-acting . — The rudi- 
mentary psychology that considered only the conscious motives 
of men (as causes), that took “consciousness” for an attribute of 
the soul, that sought a will (i.e., an intention) behind all action: it 
needed, first, only to answer “Happiness” to the question: What do 
men want? (one dared not say “Power”: that would have been 
immoral) ; — consequently there is in all the actions of men the 
intention of attaining happiness. Secondly: if man does in fact 
not achieve happiness, why is it? Because he blunders in respect 
of the means. — What is unfailingly the means to happiness? 
Answer: virtue. — Why virtue? — Because it is supremely rational 
and because rationality makes it impossible to err in the choice 
of means: it is as reason that virtue is the way to happiness. 
Dialectic is the constant occupation of virtue, because it excludes 
all clouding of the intellect and all affects. 

In fact, man does not want “happiness.” Pleasure is a feeling 
of power: if one excludes the affects, then one excludes the states 
that give the highest feeling of power, consequently of pleasure. 
The highest rationality is a cold, clear state very far from giving 
that feeling of happiness that intoxication of any kind brings with 
it — 

The philosophers of antiquity combat everything that intoxi- 
cates — that impairs the absolute coldness and neutrality of the 
consciousness — They were consistent with their false presupposi- 
tion: that consciousness is the exalted, the supreme state, the 
precondition of perfection — whereas the opposite is true- 

To the extent that it is willed, to the extent that it is conscious, 
there is no perfection in action of any kind. The philosophers of 
antiquity were the greatest duffers in practice because they con- 
demned themselves to be duffers in theory — In praxi, everything 
resolved itself into play-acting; — and whoever saw through this, 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 239 

e.g., Pyrrho, judged as everyone did, namely that in goodness and 
integrity “little people” were far superior to philosophers. 

All the more profound natures of antiquity were disgusted 
with the philosophers of virtue: they were looked upon as quarrel- 
some and play actors. (Judgment on Plato: that of Epicurus, 140 
that of Pyrrho). 

Result: little people are superior to them in their way of 
living, in patience, in goodness and mutual assistance: — approxi- 
mately the claim made by Dostoevsky or Tolstoy for his muzhiks: 
they are more philosophical in practice, they meet the exigencies 
of life more courageously — 

435 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Toward a critique of the philosopher .- — It is a self-deception 
of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence 
by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they 
acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most 
powerful promoters of decadence. 

[Let us take] 141 the philosophers of Greece, e.g., Plato. He 
severed the instincts from the polis, from contest, from military 
efficiency, from art and beauty, from the mysteries, from belief 
in tradition and ancestors — He was the seducer of the nobility: 
he was himself seduced by the roturier Socrates — He negated all 
the presuppositions of the “noble Greek” of the old stamp, made 
dialectic an everyday practice, conspired with tyrants, pursued 
politics of the future and provided the example of the most com- 
plete severance of the instincts from the past. He is profound, 
passionate in everything anti- Hellenic — 

These great philosophers represent one after the other the 
typical forms of decadence: the moral-religious idiosyncrasy, an- 
archism, nihilism (adiaphora) , 142 cynicism, obduracy, hedonism, 
reaction. 


M *Cf. section 428 above; also Beyond, section 7. 

Placed in brackets because not in the MS although found in all 
editions. After “Plato” the MS continues “the man of the good. But he. . . 
The reading “the man” is uncertain as the two words were crossed out by 
Nietzsche and are illegible. Near the end, the following lines in the MS 
have been omitted in all editions: “Why does none of them dare to deny 
the freedom of the will? They are all preoccupied with their ‘salvation of 
the soul’ — what is truth to them!” 

*“ Indifference. 



240 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The question of “happiness,” of “virtue,” of “salvation of 
the soul” is the expression of physiological contradictoriness in 
these types of decline: their instincts lack a center of gravity, a 
purpose. 


436 ( 1885-1886 ) 

To what extent dialectic and faith in reason still rest on moral 
prejudices. With Plato we are, as former inhabitants of an intel- 
ligible world of the good, still in possession of a heritage from that 
time: divine dialectic, as proceeding from the good, leads to all 
things good ( — therefore, as it were, “backwards”—). Even Des- 
cartes had a notion of the fact that in a fundamentally Christian- 
moral mode of thought, which believes in a good God as the creator 
of things, only God’s veracity guarantees to us the judgments of 
our senses. Apart from a religious sanction and guarantee of our 
senses and rationality. — where should we derive a right to trust in 
existence! That thinking is a measure of actuality— that what can- 
not be thought, is not — is a rude non plus ultra of a moralistic 
trustfulness (in an essential truth-principle at the bottom of things), 
in itself a mad assumption, which experience contradicts every 
moment. We are altogether unable to think anything at all just as 
it is — 


437 (March-lime 1888) 

The real philosophers of Greece are those before Socrates 143 
( — with Socrates something changes). They are all noble persons, 
setting themselves apart from people and state , 144 traveled, serious 
to the point of sombemess, with a slow glance, no strangers to 
state affairs and diplomacy. They anticipate all the great concep- 
tions of things: they themselves represent these conceptions, they 
bring themselves into a system. Nothing gives a higher idea of the 
Greek spirit than this sudden fruitfulness in types, than this in- 
voluntary completeness in the erection of the great possibilities of 
the philosophical ideal. — I seen only one original figure in those 


1,3 This view was taken up by Karl Jaspers in his Psychology der Weltan- 
schauungen (1919) and by Martin Heidegger in Platons Lehre von der 
Wahrheit (“Plato’s Doctrine of Truth,” 1942). 

““Word not clear in the MS: possibly “custom” ( Side ) rather than 
“state” ( Staat ). 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 241 

that came after: a late arrival but necessarily the last — the nihilist 
Pyrrho: — his instinct was opposed to all that had come to the top 
in the meantime: the Socratics, Plato, the artist’s optimism 145 of 
Heraclitus. (Pyrrho goes back, through Protagoras, to Democ- 
ritus — ) . 


* 

Sagacious weariness: Pyrrho. To live a lowly life among the 
lowly. No pride. To live in the common way; to honor and believe 
what all believe. On guard against science and spirit, also against 
all that inflates— 

Simple: indescribably patient, carefree, mild. Apatheia , 140 or 
rather pradtes . 147 A Buddhist for Greece, grown up amid the 
tumult of the schools; a latecomer; weary; the protest of weariness 
against the zeal of the dialecticians; the unbelief of weariness in 
the importance of all things. He had seen Alexander, he had seen 
the Indian penitents. To such refined latecomers, everything lowly, 
everything poor, even everything idiotic is seductive. It has a 
narcotic effect: it relaxes (Pascal). On the other hand, in the 
midst of the crowd and confounded with everyone else, they feel 
a little warmth: these weary people need warmth — 

To overcome contradiction; no contest; no will to distinction; 
to deny the Greek instincts. (Pyrrho lived with his sister who was 
a midwife.) To disguise wisdom so that it no longer distinguishes; 
to cloak it in poverty and rags; to perform the lowliest offices: to 
go to market and sell suckling pigs — 

Sweetness; light; indifference; no virtues that require gestures: 
to be everyone’s equal even in virtue: ultimate self-overcoming, 
ultimate indifference. 

Pyrrho, like Epicurus, two forms of Greek decadence: related, 
in hatred for dialectics and for all theatrical virtues — these two 
together were in those days called philosophy — ; deliberately hold- 
ing in low esteem that which they loved; choosing common, even 
despised names for it; representing a state in which one is neither 
sick nor well, neither alive nor dead — 

Epicurus more naive, idyllic, grateful; Pyrrho more traveled, 
experienced, nihilistic — His life was a protest against the great 
doctrine of identity (happiness =r virtue = knowledge). One can- 

MS The word is illegible and this reading highly questionable. 

Apathy. 

Gentleness. 




242 


THE WILL TO POWER 


not promote the right way of life through science: wisdom does 
not make “wise” — The right way of life does not want happiness, 
turns away from happiness — 

438 ( Spring 1888 ) 

The struggle against the “old faith” as undertaken by Epicurus 
was, in a strict sense, a struggle against pre-existing Christianity — 
a struggle against the old world grown senile and sick, already 
gloomy, ‘moralized, soured by feelings of guilt. 

Not the “moral corruption” of antiquity, but precisely its 
moralization is the prerequisite through which alone Christianity 
could become master of it. Moral fanaticism (in short: Plato) 
destroyed paganism, by revaluing its values and poisoning its 
innocence. — 

We ought finally to understand that what was then destroyed 
was higher than what became master! — 

Christianity has grown out of psychological decay, could 
only take root in decayed soil. 

439 (March-June 1888) 

Scientific manners: as training or as instinct . — In the Greek 
philosophers I see a decline of the instincts: otherwise they could 
not have blundered so far as to posit the conscious state as more 
valuable. Intensity of consciousness stands in inverse ratio to 
ease and speed of cerebral transmission. Among Greek philoso- 
phers the reverse opinion about instinct prevailed: which is always 
a sign of weakened instincts. 

We must in fact seek perfect life where it has become least 
conscious (i.e., least aware of its logic, its reasons, its means and 
intentions, its utility). The return to the facts of bon sens, of the 
bon homme, of the “little people” of all kinds. The stored-up in- 
tegrity and shrewdness of generations which are never conscious 
of their principles and are even a little afraid of principles. The 
demand for a virtue that reasons is not reasonable — A philo- 
sopher is compromised by such a demand. 

440 (Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

When morality — that is to say subtlety, caution, bravery, 



BOOK TWO: Critique of Highest Values 243 

equity — has been as it were stored up through the practice of a 
whole succession of generations, then the total force of this ac- 
cumulated virtue radiates even into that sphere where integrity 
is most seldom found, into the spiritual sphere. In all becoming- 
conscious there is expressed a discomfiture of the organism; it has 
to tty something new, nothing is sufficiently adapted for it, there 
is toil, tension, strain— all this constitutes becoming-conscious — 

Genius resides in instinct; goodness likewise. One acts 
perfectly Only when one acts instinctively. Even from the viewpoint 
of morality, all conscious thinking is merely tentative, usually the 
reverse of morality. Scientific integrity is always ruptured when 
the thinker begins to reason: try the experiment of putting the 
wisest men on the most delicate scales by making them talk about 
morality — 

It could be proved that all conscious thinking would also 
show a far lower standard of morality than the thinking of the 
same man when it is directed by his instincts .” 8 

’“According to 1911, p. 505, “This aph, [sic. In fact these ate not 
“aphorisms” but mere notes] replaces aph. 243 of the old vol. XV [the first 
edition of The Will to Power, published in 1901], which represents another 
formulation of the same content.” Here is the Other version: 

“When enough subtlety, bravery, caution, and moderation have been 
collected through the practice of a long chain of generations, then the instinc- 
tive power of such incorporated virtue radiates even into the most spiritual 
matters — and that phenomenon becomes visible which we call intellectual 
integrity. This is very rare: among philosophers it is lacking. 

“One can take the scientific manner or, morally speaking the intellectual 
integrity of a thinker, the subtlety, bravery, caution, and moderation that 
have become instinct in him and transposed even into the most spiritual 
matters, and place them on the most delicate; scales— by letting him talk 
about morality: then the most famous philosophers show that their scientific 
manner is as yet only a conscious affair, a beginning, a ‘good will,’ some- 
thing laborious — and as soon as their instincts begin to speak, as soon as 
they moralize, it is all over with the discipline and subtlety of their con- 
science. 

“The scientific manner — whether mere training and external or the final 
result of long discipline and moral practice: in the former case it abdicates 
as soon as the instincts speak (e.g., the religious instincts or those of the 
concept of duty); in the latter case it replaces these instincts and no longer 
grants them admission, feeling they represent uncleanliness and seductions — ” 

Although omitted in most editions, this version is printed in an appen- 
dix in both the Grossoktav edition and the Musarion edition, as #1074. 
Schlechta omits it. It is included here not only as a matter of principle 
but also for three additional reasons: (1) it is interesting to see how the 
editors of the various editions proceeded; (2) it is even more interesting 
to be able to compare two alternative drafts from Nietzsche’s hand; and 
(3) parts of this draft compare very favorably with the one included in 
the text. 



244 


THE WILL TO POWER 


441 {March- June 1888) 

The struggle against Socrates, Plato, all the Socratic schools, 
proceeds from the profound instinct that one does not make men 
better when one represents to them that virtue is demonstrable 
and asks for reasons — 

Ultimately, it is the measly fact that the agonal instinct in all 
these bora dialecticians compelled them to glorify their personal 
ability as the highest quality and to represent all other good things 
as conditioned by it. The anti-scientific spirit of this entire “phi- 
losophy”: it is determined to be in the right. 


442 {M arch-June 1888) 

This is extraordinary. We find from the beginning of Greek 
philosophy onwards a struggle against science with the means of an 
epistemology or skepticism: and with what object? Always for the 
good of morality — 

(Hatred for physicists and physicians.) Socrates, Aristippus, 
the Megarian school, the Cynics, Epicurus, Pyrrho — a general 
assault on knowledge for the good of morality — 

(Hatred for dialectics also.) A problem remains: they ap- 
proach the Sophists in order to get rid of science. On the other 
hand, the physicists are all so completely subjected as to take up 
the schema of truth, 149 of real being, into the fundamentals of 
their science; e g., the atom, the four elements (juxtaposition of 
beings to explain multiplicity and change — ). Contempt for ob- 
jective interest is taught: return to the practical interest, the 
personal utility of all knowledge — 

The struggle against science is directed against (1) its pathos 
(objectivity), (2) its means (i.e., against its utility), (3) its re- 
sults (as childish). 

It is the same struggle that is later conducted by the church 
in the name of piety: the church inherited the entire arsenal of 
antiquity for its struggle. Epistemology played in this the same 
role as it did in the case of Kant, in the case of the Indians — One 
does not want to be troubled by it: one wants one’s hands free 
for one’s “course.” 

What were they really defending themselves against? Against 
“Truth” is an uncertain reading of an illegible word. 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 245 

obligation, against legality, against the compulsion to go hand in 
hand — I believe one calls this freedom — 

Decadence manifests itself in this: the instinct of solidarity 
is so degenerate that solidarity is felt as tyranny: they want no 
authority, no solidarity, no lining up with the rank and file to 
adopt its ignobly slack pace. They hate the measured step, the 
tempo of science, they hate the lack of urgency, the perserverance, 
the indifference to himself of the man of science. 

443 ( March-June 1888) 

Fundamentally, morality is hostile to science: Socrates was 
so already — and for this reason, that science takes things seriously 
that have nothing to do with “good” arid “evil,” consequeritly 
makes the feeling for “good” arid “evil” seem less important. For 
morality demands that the whole man and all his forces should 
stand in its service: it considers it a squandering on the part of 
one not rich enough to squander when man concerns himself 
seriously with plants and stars. This is why scientific procedures 
rapidly declined in Greece once Socrates had introduced into 
science the disease of moralizing; the height attained in the dis- 
position of a Democritus, Hippocrates, and Thucydides was not 
attained a second time. 

444 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Problem of the philosopher and the man of science. — In- 
fluence of age; depressive habits (staying-at-home a la Kant; 
overwork; insufficient nourishment of the brain; reading). More 
essentially: whether a tendency toward generalities is not already 
a symptom of decadence; objectivity as disintegration of the will 
( — to be able to stand so distant — ) This presupposes a great 
adiaphora in regard to the powerful drives: a kind of isolation, 
exceptional stance, resistance in regard to the normal drives. 

Type: desertion of the homeland; further and further afield; 
increasing exoticism; the old imperatives become dumb ; cer- 

tainly this continual questioning “whither?” (“happiness”) is a 
sign of disengagement from forms of organization, of a breaking 
loose. 

Problem: whether the man of science is more of a symptom 
of decadence than the philosophers: — he is not disengaged as a 



246 


THE WILL TO POWER 


whole, only a part of him is absolutely dedicated to knowledge, 
trained to one corner and perspective — he needs all the virtues 
of a strong race and health, great severity, manliness, shrewdness. 
He is a symptom more of a higher multiplicity of culture than of 
its weariness. The scholar of decadence is a bad scholar. While 
the philosopher of decadence has counted, hitherto at least, as the 
typical philosopher. 


445 {1 an. -Fall 1888 ) 

Nothing is rarer among philosophers than intellectual integrity'. 
perhaps they say the opposite, perhaps they even believe it. But 
a condition of their entire occupation is that only certain truths are 
admitted; they know that which they have to prove; that they are 
at one over these “truths” is virtually their means of recognizing 
one another as philosophers. There are, e.g., moral truths. But 
a faith in morals is not a proof of morality: there are cases— and 
the case of the philosopher is one — in which such a faith is simply 
a piece of immorality. 

446 {March-June 1888 ) 

What, then, is regressive in the philosopher ?- — That he teaches 
that his qualities are the necessary and sole qualities for the attain- 
ment of the “highest good” (e.g., dialectic, as with Plato). That 
he orders men of all kinds gradatim 130 up to his type as the highest. 
That he despises what is generally esteemed— that he opens up 
a gulf between priestly values and worldly values. That he knows 
what is true, what God is, what the goal is, what the way is — 

The typical philosopher is here an absolute dogmatist; — if 
he has need of skepticism, it is so as to be able to speak dog- 
matically about his main interest. 

447 ( March-June 1888) 

The philosopher in opposition to his rivals; e.g., in opposi- 
tion to science: then he becomes a skeptic; then he reserves to 
himself a form of knowledge that he denies the man of science; 
then he goes hand in hand with the priest so as not 151 to arouse 

,w By degrees. 

151 "Not” is missing in the MS but was very reasonably inserted by the 
German editors. 




book two: Critique of Highest Values 247 

the suspicion of atheism, materialism; he regards an attack on 
himself as an attack on morality, virtue, religion, order*— he knows 
how to discredit his opponents as “seducers” and “underminers”: 
then he goes hand in hand with power. 

The philosopher in a struggle with other philosophers — he 
tries to compel them to appear as anarchists, unbelievers, opponents 
of authority. In summa: in so far as he struggles, he struggles just 
as a priest does, just as priesthood does. 


3. Truth and Error of Philosophers 

448 ( Manuscript source uncertain) 1 ** 

Philosophy defined by Kant as “the science of the limitations 
of reason”!! 


449 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Philosophy as the art of discovering truth: according to 
Aristotle. Contradicted by the Epicureans, who made use of 
Aristotle’s sensualistic theory of knowledge: they rejected the 
search for truth with irony; “Philosophy as an art of living .” 

450 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The three great naiveties: 

Knowledge as a means to happiness (as if — ), 

as a means to virtue (as if — ), 

as a means to “denial of life” — to the extent that it is a 
means to disappointment — (as if — ) 

451 ( Manuscript source uncertain) 163 

That there should be a “truth” which one could somehow 
approach — ! 


452 {Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

Error and ignorance are fateful. — The view that truth is 


’“Therefore omitted by Schlechta. 
Therefore omitted by Schlechta. 



248 


THE WILL TO POWER 


found and that ignorance and error are at an end is one of the 
most potent seductions there is. Supposing it is believed, then the 
will to examination, investigation, caution, experiment is paralyzed: 
it can even count as criminal, namely as doubt concerning truth — 

“Truth” is therefore more fateful than error and ignorance, 
because it cuts off the forces that work toward enlightenment and 
knowledge. 

The affect of laziness now takes the side of “truth” — (“think- 
ing is distress, misery!”); as do order, rule, happiness in possess- 
ing, pride in wisdom — vanity in summa : — it is more comfortable 
to obey than to examine; it is more flattering to think “I possess 
the truth” than to see only darkness around one — above all: it is 
reassuring, it gives confidence, it alleviates life— it “improves” 
the character, to the extent that it lessens mistrust. “Peace of soul,” 
“a quiet conscience”: all inventions made possible only by pre- 
supposing that truth has been found. — “By their fruits shall ye 
know them” — “Truth” is truth, for it makes men better — The 
process goes on: everything good, all success, is placed to the 
credit of “truth.” 

This is the proof of strength : 1M the happiness, the content- 
ment, the well-being of the community, as of the individual, are 
henceforth understood as the consequence of belief in morality — 
The converse: ill success is attributed to lack of faith — . 

453 ( lan.-Fall 1888 ) 

The causes of error lie just as much in the good will [as in 
the ill will 155 ] of man — : in a thousand cases he conceals reality 
from himself, he falsifies it, so as not to suffer from his good [or 
ill] 156 will. E.g,, God as the director of human destiny: or the 
interpretation of his own petty destiny as if everything were con- 
trived and sent with a view to the salvation of his soul — this lack 
of “philology,” which to a more subtle intellect would have to 
count as uncleanliness and counterfeiting, is, on the average, per- 
formed under the inspiration of good will. Good will, “noble 
feelings,” “lofty states” are in the means they employ just as much 

'"See Antichrist, sections 50 § ( Portable Nietzsche)’, also in connection 
with sections 453-57. 

Interpolated by Nietzsche, brackets mine. 

1H Interpolated by German editors, brackets mine. 




book TWO: Critique of Highest Values 249 

counterfeiters and deceivers as the affects repudiated by morality 
and called egoistic: love, hate, revenge. 

Errors are what mankind has had to pay for most dearly: 
and, on the whole, it is the errors of “good will” which have harmed 
it most profoundly. The illusion that makes happy is more per- 
nicious than that which has immediate bad consequences: the 
latter sharpens and purifies 157 reason and makes it more mistrustful 
— the former lulls it to sleep. — 

Beautiful feelings, sublime agitations, are, physiologically 
speaking, among the narcotics: their misuse has precisely the 
same consequences as the misuse of any other opiate — neuras- 
thenia — 


454 (1888) 

Error is the most expensive luxury that man can permit him- 
self; and if the error happens to be a physiological error, then it 
is perilous to life. What, consequently, has man hitherto paid 
for most dearly? For his “truths”: for they have all been errors 
in physiologicis — 


455 (Jan.-Fall 1888) 

Psychological confusions: — the demand for belief — confused 
with the “will to truth” (e.g., in the case of Carlyle). 158 But in 
the same way, the demand for unbelief has been confused with 
the “will to truth” ( — the need to get free from a belief, for a 
hundred reasons: to be in the right against some “believers”). 
What inspires the skeptic? Hatred of the dogmatist — or a need 
for rest, a weariness, as in the case of Pyrrho. 

The advantages that one anticipated from truth were ad- 
vantages resulting from belief in it: — in itself, that is, truth could 
be altogether painful, harmful, fateful — . One likewise disputed 
the “truth" only when one promised oneself advantages from 
one’s victory — e.g., freedom from the ruling powers. 

The methods of truth were not invented from motives of 
truth, but from motives of power, of wanting to be superior. 

How is truth proved? By the feeling of enhanced power 159 — 

Reading uncertain, word illegible. 

Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 12 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 521). 

”* After “power” three Illegible words follow in the MS: “of certainty, 
faith—”? 




250 


THE WILL TO POWER 


by utility — by indispensability — in short, by advantages (namely, 
presuppositions concerning what truth ought to be like for us 
to recognize it). But that is a prejudice: a sign that truth is not 
involved at all — 

What, e.g,, is the meaning of the “will to truth” in the case 
of the Goncourts? 190 in the case of the naturalists? — Critique of 
“objectivity.” 

Why know: why not rather be deceived? — What one always 
wanted was faith — and not truth — Faith is created by means 
antithetical to the methods of research — : they even exclude the 
latter — . 


456 ( March-June 1888 ) 

A Certain degree of faith serves us today as an objection 
to what is believed — even more as a question mark against the 
spiritual health of the believer. 

457 ( Jan-Fail 1888 ) 

Martyrs . — In order to combat anything founded on rever- 
ence, the attacker must be possessed of a somewhat audacious, 
relentless, even shameless disposition — Now if one considers 
that mankind has for millennia sanctified as truths only what was 
error, that is has even branded any critique of these as a sign of 
a wicked disposition, then one is bound to confess with regret 
that a goodly amount of immorality was needed to provide the 
initiative for aggression, in other words for reason — 

These immoralists should be forgiven for always having posed 
as “martyrs to truth”: the truth is that it was not the drive to 
truth which made them negate, but disintegration, sacrilegious 
skepticism, pleasure in adventure — . In other cases, it is personal 
rancor that drives them into the domain of problems — they combat 
problems in order to be in the right against particular people. 
But it is revenge above all that science has been able to employ — 
the revenge of the oppressed, those who had been pushed aside 
and, in fact, oppressed by the prevailing truth — 

Truth, that is to say, the scientific method, was grasped and 
promoted by those who divined in it a weapon of war — an in- 


ls ° Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 7 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 517). 



boos TWO: Critique of Highest Values 251 

strument of destruction — To make their opposition honorable, 
they needed, moreover, an apparatus similar in kind to that used 
by those they were attacking: — they adopted the concept “truth” 
just as ostentatiously and unconditionally as their opponents — 
they became fanatics, at least they posed as such, because no 
other pose was taken seriously. What remained to be done was 
accomplished by persecution, passion and the insecurity of the 
persecuted — hatred grew and consequently the precondition for 
remaining scientific was diminished. Ultimately, they all wanted 
to be right in the same absurd fashion as their opponents — The 
words “conviction,” “faith,” the pride of martyrdom — these are 
the least favorable states for the advancement of knowledge. The 
opponents of truth at last reaccepted the entire subjective manner 
of deciding questions of truth, namely by poses, sacrifices, heroic 
resolutions — and thus prolonged the dominion of antiscientific 
methods. As martyrs they compromised their own deed. 

458 ( March-June 1888)™ 

Dangerous distinction between “theoretical” and “practical,” 
e.g., in the case of Kant, but also in the case of the ancients: — 
they act as if pure spirituality presented them with the problems 
of knowledge and metaphysics; — they act as if practice must be 
judged by its own measure, whatever the answer of theory may be. 

Against the former I direct my psychology of philosophers: 
their most alienated calculations and their “spirituality” are still 
only the last pallid impression of a physiological fact; the voluntary 
is absolutely lacking, everything is instinct, everything has been 
directed along certain lines from the beginning — 

Against the latter I ask whether we know of any other method 
of acting well than always thinking well; the latter is an action, and 
the former presupposes thought. Have we a different method for 
judging the value of a way of life from judging the value of a 
theory: by induction, by comparison? — 

The naive believe that we are better equipped here, that 
here we know what is “good” — philosophers repeat it. We con- 
clude that a faith is here at work, nothing more — 

“One must act; consequently rules of conduct are needed” — 
said even the skeptics of antiquity. The urgent need for a decision 
as an argument for considering something true ! 


Cf. section 423 above. 




252 


THE WILL TO POWER 

“One must not act” — said their more consistent brothers, the 
Buddhists, and conceived a rule of conduct to liberate one from 
actions — 

To accommodate oneself, to live as the “common man” lives, 
to hold right and good what he holds right: this is to submit to 
the herd instinct. One must take one’s courage and severity so far 
as to feel such a submission as a disgrace. Not to live with two 
different standards! — Not to separate theory and practice! — 

459 ( Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

That nothing formerly held true is true— What was formerly 
despised as unholy, forbidden, contemptible, fateful — all these 
flowers grow today along the lovely paths of truth. 

This entire old morality concerns us no more: there is not 
a concept in it that still deserves respect. We have outlived it — 
we are no longer coarse and naive enough to have to let ourselves 
be deceived in this fashion — In more polite words: we are too 
virtuous for it — And if truth in the old sense was “truth” only 
because the old morality affirmed it, had a right to affirm it, then 
it follows that we no longer have need of any former truths, 
either — Our criterion of truth is by no means morality: we refute 
an opinion by showing it to be dependent on morality, to be in- 
spired by noble feelings. 

460 (March- June 1888 ) 

All these values are empirical and conditional. But he who 
believes in them, who reverences them, refuses to recognize just 
this characteristic of them. Philosophers believe one and all in 
these values, and one form their reverence took was the attempt to 
make a priori truths of them. The falsifying character of rever- 
ence — 

Reverence is the supreme test of integrity: but in the entire 
history of philosophy there is no intellectual integrity — but only 
“love of the good” — 

The absolute lack of methods of testing the value of these 
values; secondly: reluctance to test values, to take them as being 
in any way conditional. — In the case of moral values, all the 
antiscientific instincts came together with the object of excluding 
science — 



book two: Critique of Highest Values 


253 


4. Further Considerations for a 
Critique of Philosophy 

461 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Why philosophers are slanderers . — The treacherous and blind 
hostility of philosophers towards the senses 162 — how much of 
mob and middle class there is in this hatred! 

The common people always consider an abuse of which they 
feel the ill consequences as an objection to that which is abused: 
ail insurrectionary movements aimed against principles, whether 
political or economic, argue thus, with the idea of representing an 
abuse as being necessary tp, and inherent in, the principle. 

It is a miserable story: man seeks a principle through which 
he can despise men — he invents a world so as to be able to 
slander and bespatter this world: in reality, he reaches every time 
for nothingness and construes nothingness as “God,” as “truth,” 
and in any case as judge and condemner of this state of being — 

If one wants a proof of how profoundly and thoroughly the 
actually barbarous needs of man seek satisfaction, even when he 
is tamed and “civilized,” one should take a look at the “leitmotifs” 
of the entire evolution of philosophy: — a sort of revenge on reality, 
a malicious destruction of the valuations by which men live, an 
unsatisfied soul that feels the tamed state as a torture and finds 
a voluptuous pleasure in a morbid unraveling of all the bonds 
that tie it to such a state. 

The history of philosophy is a secret raging against the pre- 
conditions of life, against the value feelings of life, against partisan- 
ship in favor of life, Philosophers have never hesitated to affirm 
a world provided it contradicted this world and furnished them 
with a pretext for speaking ill of this world. It has been hitherto 
the grand school of slander; and it has imposed itself to such an 
extent that today our science, which proclaims itself the advocate 


m At this point the German editors saw fit to omit the following lines: 
"It is not the senses that deceive. Our nose, of which, as far asT know, 
no philosopher has ever spoken with due respect, is as yet the most delicate 
scientific [physikalisch] instrument in existence: it is capable of registering 
vibrations where even the spectroscope fails.” 

This section, including the passage just cited, was utilized by Nietzsche 
in Twilight, Chapters III and IV. 



254 


THE WILL TO POWER 


of life, has accepted the basic slanderous position and treated 
this world as apparent, this chain of causes as merely phenomenal. 
What is it really that hates here? 

I fear it is still the Circe of philosophers, morality, that has 
here bewitched them into having to be slanderers forever — They 
believed in moral “truths,” they found there the supreme values — 
what else could they do but deny existence more firmly the more 
they got to know it? — For this existence is immoral — And this 
life depends upon immoral preconditions: and all morality denies 
life — . 

Let us abolish the real world: and to be able to do this we 
first have to abolish the supreme value hitherto, morality — ■ It 
suffices to demonstrate that even morality is immoral, iii the sense 
in which immorality has always been condemned. If the tyranny 
of former values is broken in this way, if we have abolished the 
“real world,” then a new Order of values must follow of its own 
accord. 

The apparent world and the world invented by a lie — -this is 
the antithesis. The latter has hitherto been called the “real world,” 
“truth,” “God.” This is what we have to abolish. 

Logic of my conception: 

1. Morality as supreme value (master over all phases of 
philosophy, even over the skeptics). Result: this world is good 
for nothing, it is not the “real world.” 

2. What here determines the supreme value? What is morality, 
really? — The instinct of decadence; it is the exhausted and dis- 
inherited who take revenge in this fashion. Historical proof: phi- 
losophers are always decadents — in the service of the nihilistic 
religions. 

3. The instinct of decadence which appears as will to power. 
Proof: the absolute immorality of means throughout the entire 
history of morality. 

General insight: the highest values hitherto are a special 
case of the will to power; morality itself is a special case of im- 
morality. 103 

’"The short last paragraph was taken by the editors from another more 
detailed section. At this point the MS had merely: “In this whole movement 
we have recognized merely a special case of the will to power.” The first 
edition (1901) followed the MS. 

Schlechta omits the lines deleted in ail other editions; he follows the 
standard edition and not the manuscript in the final paragraph; and he 




BOOK two: Criligue of Highest Values 


255 


462 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Fundamental innovations : In place of “moral values,” purely 
naturalistic values. Naturalization of morality. 

In place of “sociology,” a theory of the forms of domination. 

In place of “society,” the culture complex, as my chief interest 
(as a whole or in its parts). 

In place of “epistemology,” a perspective theory of affects 
(to which belongs a hierarchy of the affects; the affects trans- 
figured; their superior order, their “spirituality”). 

In place of "metaphysics” and religion, the theory of eternal 
recurrence (this as a means of breeding and selection). 

463 {1885) 

My precursors: Schopenhauer; to what extent I deepened 
pessimism and by devising its extreraest antithesis first really ex- 
perienced it 

Then: the ideal artists, that after-product of the Napoleonic 
movement. 

Then: the higher Europeans, predecessors of great politics. 

Then: the Greeks and their origins. 164 


464 {1885) 

I have named those who were unknowingly my workers and 
precursors. But where may I look with any kind of hope for my 
kind of philosopher himself, at the least for my need of new phi- 
losophers? 166 In that direction alone where a noble mode of thought 
is dominant, such as believes in slavery and in many degrees of 
bondage as the precondition of every higher culture; where a 

prints the second half of the section, beginning with ‘The history of phi- 
losophy . . .” (along with the conclusion that does not belong to it) a couple 
of pages before the first half. 

“‘The MS goes on: “In The Birth of Tragedy I gave hints concerning 
the relation of ‘distress’ and ‘art’; personal education of the philosopher in 
solitude. The Dionysian.’’ 

Schlechta not only omits these lines, following the example of all previ- 
ous editors; he also omits the second paragraph — in which, incidentally, the 
MS has “Napol.” instead of Napoleonic.” 

1,5 Cf. Beyond Good and Evil, sections 211 /. 



256 


THE WILL TO POWER 


creative mode of thought dominates that does not posit the happi- 
ness of repose, the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” as a goal for the world, 
and honors even in peace the means to new wars ; 108 a mode of 
thought that prescribes laws for the future, that for the sake of 
the future is harsh and tyrannical towards itself and all things of 
the present; a reckless, “immoral” mode of thought, which wants 
to develop both the good and the bad qualities in man to their 
fullest extent, because it feels it has the strength to put both in 
their right place — in the place where each needs the other. But 
he who thus looks for philosophers today, what prospect has he of 
finding what he is looking for? Is it hot likely that, even with the 
best Diogenes lantern, he will search about in vain all day and all 
night? The age possesses the reverse instincts; it wants, first and 
above all, comfort; it wants, in the second place, publicity and that 
great actors’ hubbub, that great drum banging that appeals to its fun- 
fair tastes; it wants, thirdly, that everyone should fall on his face 
in the profoundest subjection before the greatest of all lies — it is 
called “equality of men”— -and honor exclusively those virtues 
that level and equalize. But the rise of the philosopher, as I under- 
stand him, is therewith rendered altogether impossible, notwith- 
standing that it is thought in all innocence to be favorable to him. 
Indeed, all the world bewails today the evil situation of the phi- 
losopher in earlier times, hemmed in between the stake, bad 
conscience, and the arrogant wisdom of the Church Fathers: the 
truth, however, is that precisely this was a much more favorable 
condition for the education of a powerful, comprehensive, cunning 
and audaciously daring spirituality than the conditions of life at 
present. Today, another kind of spirit, namely the spirit of the 
demagogue, the spirit of the actor, perhaps also the scholarly 
beaver- and ant-like spirit, finds conditions favorable. But things 
are so much the worse even for superior artists: for are they not, 
almost all of them, perishing from a lack of inner discipline? 
They are no longer tyrannized over from without by a church’s 
tables of absolute values or those of a court; thus they also no 
longer learn to develop their “inner tyrants,” their will. And what 
is true of artists is true in a higher and more fateful sense of 


m Cf. Zarathustra, I, “On War and Warriors” and my commentary on 
the parallel passage in my translation ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 158 §)', also 
my Nietzsche, Chapter 12, section VII. 

Many, if not most, of the ideas in this section are developed in Zara - 
thustra and Beyond Good and Evil. 




BOOK two: Critique of Highest Values 257 

philosophers. For where are there free spirits today? Show me 
a free spirit today!— 

465 {Summer-Fall 1888) 

I understand by “freedom of spirit” something quite definite: 
being a hundred times superior 187 to philosophers and other 
disciples of “truth” in severity towards oneself, in cleanliness and 
courage, in the unconditional will to say No where it is dangerous 
to say No — I treat previous philosophers as contemptible libertines 
hiding in the cloak of the woman “truth.” 

J0 ' This word is not found in the MS but was very reasonably supplied 
by the German editors. 





BOOK THREE 
— — <m >— — 
PRINCIPLES OF A 
NEW EVALUATION 




I. THE WILL TO POWER 
AS KNOWLEDGE 1 


1. Method of Inquiry 

466 {Jan.-Fcdl 1888 ) 

It is not the victory of science that distinguishes our nine- 
teenth century, but the victory of scientific method over science. 

467 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

History of scientific method, considered by Auguste Comte 
as virtually philosophy itself. 

468 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The great methodologists: Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Auguste 
Comte. 


469 {Jan. -Fall 1888 ) 

The most valuable insights are arrived at last; but the most 
valuable insights are methods. 

All the methods, all the presuppositions of our contemporary 
science were for millennia regarded with the profoundest contempt; 
on their account one was excluded from the society of respectable 
people — one was considered as an “enemy of God,” as a reviler 
of the highest ideal, as “possessed.” 


1 Much of the material in this part was utilized by Nietzsche in the 
first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil, published in 1886, and in Twilight 
of the Idols (completed in the early fall of 1888), especially in the chapter 
“The Four Great Errors” and — some of the sections on the “true” and the 
“apparent” world — in the chapters “ ‘Reason’ in Philosophy” and “How the 
"True World’ Finally Became a Fable.” But there are also many ideas and 
a great many formulations that were not included in any of the books 
Nietzsche finished — presumably in most cases because Nietzsche was not 
fully satisfied with his notes. What follows, then, does not represent his final 
point of view; but some of his most interesting suggestions are to be found 
only in these sections. 




262 


THE WILL TO POWER 


We have had the whole pathos of mankind against us — our 
conception of what “truth” should be, what service of truth should 
be, our objectivity, our method, our silent, cautious, mistrustful 
ways were considered perfectly contemptible — 

At bottom, it has been an aesthetic taste that has hindered 
mankind most: it believed in the picturesque effect of truth, it 
demanded of the man of knowledge that he should produce a 
powerful effect on the imagination. 

This looks as if an antithesis has been achieved, a leap made; 
in reality, the schooling through moral hyperbole prepared the 
way step by step for that milder of pathos that became incarnate 
in the scientific character — 

The conscientiousness in small things, the self-control of the 
religious man were a preparatory school for the scientific character: 
above all, the disposition that takes problems seriously, regardless 
of the personal consequences — 


2. The Epistemological Starting Point 
470 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Profound aversion to reposing once and for all in any one 
total view of the world. Fascination of the opposing point of view: 
refusal to be deprived of the stimulus of the enigmatic. 

471 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

The presupposition that things are, at bottom, ordered so 
morally that human reason must be justified — is an ingenuous pre- 
supposition and a piece of naivete, the after-effect of belief in 
God’s veracity — God understood as the creator of things. — These 
concepts an inheritance from a former existence in a beyond 

472 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Contradiction of the alleged “facts of consciousness.” Obser- 
vation is a thousand times more difficult, error perhaps a condition 
of observation in general. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


263 


473 ( 1886-1887 ) 

The intellect cannot criticize itself, simply because it cannot 
be compared with other species of intellect and because its capacity 
to know would be revealed only in the presence of “true reality,” 
i.e., because in order to criticize the intellect we should have to be 
a higher being with “absolute knowledge.” This presupposes that, 
distinct from every perspective kind of outlook or sensual-spiritual 
appropriation, something exists, an “in-itself.” — But the psycho- 
logical derivation of the belief in things forbids us to speak of 
“things-in-theraselves.” 

474 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

That a sort of adequate relationship subsists between subject 
and object, that the object is something that if seen from within 
would be a subject, is a well-meant invention which, I think, has 
had its day. The measure of that of which we are in any way con- 
scious is totally dependent upon the coarse utility of its be- 
coming-conscious: how could this nook-perspective of conscious- 
ness permit us to assert anything of “subject” and “object” that 
touched reality! — 


475 (1885-1886) 

Critique of modern philosophy: erroneous starting point, as 
if there existed “facts of consciousness” — and no phenomenalism 
in introspection. 


476 (1884) 

“Consciousness” — to what extent the idea of an idea, the 
idea of will, the idea of a feeling (known to ourselves alone) 
are totally superficial! Our inner world, too, “appearance"! 

477 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

I maintain the phenomenality of the inner world, too: every- 
thing of which we become conscious is arranged, simplified, 



264 


THE WILL TO POWER 


schematized, interpreted through and through — the actual process 
of inner “perception,” the causal connection between thoughts, 
feelings, desires, between subject and object, are absolutely hidden 
from us — and are perhaps purely imaginary. The “apparent inner 
world” is governed by just the same forms and procedures as the 
“outer” world. We never encounter “facts”: pleasure and dis- 
pleasure are subsequent and derivative intellectual phenomena — 
“Causality” eludes us; to suppose a direct causal link beween 
thoughts, as logic does — that is the consequence of the crudest 
and clumsiest observation. Between two thoughts ail kinds of 
affects play their game: but their motions are too fast, therefore 
we fail to recognize them, we deny them — ■ 

“Thinking,” as epistemologists conceive it, simply does not 
occur: it is a quite arbitrary fiction, arrived at by selecting one 
element from the process and eliminating all the rest, an artificial 
arrangement for the purpose of intelligibility — 

The “spirit,” something that thinks: where possible even 
“absolute, pure spirit” — this conception is a second derivative 
of that false introspection which believes in “thinking”: first an 
act is imagined which simply does not occur, “thinking,” and 
secondly a subject-substratum in which every act of thinking, 
and nothing else, has its origin: that is to say, both the deed and 
the doer are fictions. 


478 {March- June 1888 ) 

One must not look for phenomenalism in the wrong place: 
nothing is more phenomenal (or, more clearly:) nothing is so 
much deception as this inner world which we observe with the 
famous “inner sense.” 

We have believed in the will as cause to such an extent that 
we have from our personal experience introduced a cause into 
events in general (i.e., intention a cause of events — ). 

We believe that thoughts as they succeed one another in our 
minds stand in some kind of causal relation: the logician especially, 
who actually speaks of nothing but instances which never occur in 
reality, has grown accustomed to the prejudice that thoughts cause 
thoughts — . 

We believe — and even our philosopers still believe — that 
pleasure and pain are causes of reactions, that the purpose of 



265 


book three; Principles of A New Evaluation 

pleasure and pain is to occasion reactions. For millennia, pleasure 
and the avoidance of displeasure have been flatly asserted as the 
motives for every action. Upon reflection, however, we should con- 
cede that everything would have taken the same course, according 
to exactly the same sequence of causes and effects, if these states 
“pleasure and displeasure” had been absent, and that one is 
simply deceiving oneself if one thinks they cause anything at all: 
they are epiphenomena with a quite difffferent object than to 
evoke reactions; they are themselves effects within the instituted 
process of reaction. 

In summa: everything of which we become conscious is a 
terminal phenomenon, an end— and causes nothing; every succes- 
sive phenomenon in consciousness is completely atomistic — And 
we have sought to understand the world through the reverse con- 
ception — as if nothing were real and effective but thinking, feeling, 
willing! — 


479 {Jam-Fall 1888 ) 

The phenomenalism of the "inner world ” Chronological 
inversion, so that the cause enters consciousness later than the 
effect. — We have learned that pain is projected to a part of the 
body without being situated there — we have learned that sense 
impressions naively supposed to be conditioned by the outer world 
are, on the contrary, conditioned by the inner world; that we are 
always unconscious of the real activity of the outer world — The 
fragment of outer world of which we are conscious is born after 
an effect from outside has impressed itself upon us, and is sub- 
sequently projected as its “cause” — 

In the phenomenalism of the “inner world” we invert the 
chronological order of cause and effect. The fundamental fact 
of “inner experience” is that the cause is imagined after the effect 
has taken place — The same applies to the succession of thoughts: 
— we seek the reason for a thought before we are conscious of 
it; and the reason enters consciousness first, and then its con- 
sequence — Our entire dream life is the interpretation of complex 
feelings with a view to possible causes — and in such way that we 
are conscious of a condition only when the supposed causal chain 
associated with it has entered consciousness. 

The whole of “inner experience” rests upon the fact that a 



266 


THE WILL TO POWER 


cause for an excitement of the nerve centers is sought and imagined 
—and that only a cause thus discovered enters consciousness: this 
cause in no way corresponds to the real cause — it is a groping on 
the basis of previous “inner experiences,” i.e., of memory. But 
memory also maintains the habit of the old Interpretations, i.e., of 
erroneous causality — so that the “inner experience” has to contain 
within it the consequences of all previous false causal fictions. 
Our “outer world” as we project it every moment is indissolubly 
tied to the old error of the ground: we interpret it by means of 
the schematism of “things,” etc. 

“Inner experience” enters our consciousness only after it has 
found a language the individual understands — i.e., a translation of 
a condition into conditions familiar to him — ; “to understand” 
means merely: to be able to express something new in the language 
of something old and familiar. E.g., “I feel unwell” — such a 
judgment presupposes a great and late neutrality of the observer — ; 
the simple man always says: this or that makes me feel unwell 
— he makes up his mind about his feeling unwell only when he has 
seen a reason for feeling unwell. — I call that a lack of philology; 
to be able to read off a text as a text without interposing an in- 
terpretation is the last-developed form of “inner experience” — 
perhaps one that is hardly possible — 

480 (March-June 1888) 

There exists neither “spirit,” nor reason, nor thinking, nor 
consciousness, nor soul, nor will, nor truth: all are fictions that 
are of no use. There is no question of “subject and object,” but 
of a particular species of animal that can prosper only through a 
certain relative rightness; above all, regularity of its perceptions 
(so that it can accumulate experience) — 

Knowledge works as a tool of power. Hence it is plain that 
it increases with every increase of power — 

The meaning of “knowledge”: here, as in the case of “good” 
or “beautiful,” the concept is to be regarded in a strict and narrow 
anthropocentric and biological sense. In order for a particular 
species to maintain itself and increase its power, its conception of 
reality must comprehend enough of the calculable and constant 
for it to base a scheme of behavior on it. The utility of preservation 
— not some abstract-theoretical need not to be deceived — stands 



267 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

as the motive behind the development of the organs of knowledge 
— they develop in such a way that their observations suffice for 
our preservation. In other words: the measure of the desire for 
knowledge depends upon the measure to which the will to power 
grows in a species: a species grasps a certain amount of reality 
in order to become master of it, in order to press it into service. 


3. Belief in the “Ego.” The Subject 

481 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Against positivism, which halts at phenomena — “There are 
only facts " — -I would say: No, facts is precisely what there is not, 
only interpretations. We cannot establish any fact “in itself’: 
perhaps it is folly to want to do such a thing. 

“Everything is subjective,” you say; but even this is interpre- 
tation. The “subject” is not something given, it is something added 
and invented and projected behind what there is, — Finally, is it 
necessary to posit an interpreter behind the interpretation? Even 
this is invention, hypothesis. 

In so far as the word “knowledge” has any meaning, the 
world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no mean- 
ing behind it, but countless meanings. — “Perspectivism.” 

It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives and their 
For and Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one 
has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives 
to accept as a norm. 


482 ( 1886-1887 ) 

We set up a word at the point at which our ignorance begins, 
at which we can see no further, e.g., the word “I,” the word “do,” 
the word “suffer”: — -these are perhaps the horizon of our knowl- 
edge, but not “truths.” 


483 (1885) 

Through thought the ego is posited; but hitherto one believed 
as ordinary people do, that in “I think” there was something of 



268 THE WILL TO POWER 

immediate certainty, and that this “I” was the given cause of 
thought, from which by analogy we understood all other causal 
relationships. However habitual and indispensable this fiction may 
have become by now — that in itself proves nothing against its 
imaginary origin: a belief can be a condition of life and nonethe- 
less be false. 2 


484 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

“There is thinking: therefore there is something that thinks”: 
this is the upshot of all Descartes’ argumentation. But that means 
positing as “true a priori” our belief in the concept of substance — 
that when there is thought there has to be something “that thinks” 
is simply a formulation of our grammatical custom that adds a 
doer to every deed. In short, this is not merely the substantiation 
of a fact but a logical-metaphysical postulate- — Along the lines 
followed by Descartes one does not come upon something abso- 
lutely certain but only upon the fact of a very strong belief. 

If one reduces the proposition to “There is thinking, there- 
fore there are thoughts,” one has produced a mere tautology: 
and precisely that which is in question, the “reality of thought,” 
is not touched upon— that is, in this form the “apparent reality” 
of thought cannot be denied. But what Descartes desired was that 
thought should have, not an apparent reality, but a reality in itself. 

485 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The concept of substance is a consequence of the concept of 
the subject: not the reverse! If we relinquish the soul, “the sub- 
ject,” the precondition for “substance” in general disappears. 
One acquires degrees of being, one loses that which has being. 

Critique of “reality”: where does the “more or less real,” 
the gradation of being in which we believe, lead to? — • 

The degree to which we feel life and power (logic and 
coherence of experience) gives us our measure of “being,” “reality,” 
not-appearance. 

The subject: this is the term for our belief in a unity under- 
lying all the different impulses of the highest feeling of reality: we 

’Cf. sections 487 and 493 and Beyond, section 4. This section, not in 
Nietzsche’s handwriting, was evidently dictated. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


269 


understand this belief as the effect of one cause — we believe so 
firmly in our belief that for its sake we imagine “truth,” “reality,” 
“substantiality” in general. — “The subject” is the fiction that 
many similar states in us are the effect of one substratum: but 
it is we who first created the “similarity” of these states; our 
adjusting them and making them similar is the fact, not their 
similarity ( — which ought rather to be denied — ). 

486 ( 1885-1886 ) 

One would have to know what being is, in order to decide 
whether this or that is real (e.g., “the facts of consciousness”); in 
the same way, what certainty is, what knowledge is, and the like. — 
But since we do not know this, a critique of the faculty of knowl- 
edge is senseless: how should a tool be able to criticize itself when 
it can use only itself for the critique? It cannot even define itself! 3 

487 ( 1883-1886 ) 

Must all philosophy not ultimately bring to light the precondi- 
tions upon which the process of reason depends? — our belief in 
the “egp” as a substance, as the sole reality from which we ascribe 
reality to things in general? The oldest “realism” at last comes to 
light: at the same time that the entire religious history of mankind 
is recognized as the history of the soul superstition. Here we come 
to a limit: our thinking itself involves this belief (with its distinc- 
tion of substance, accident; deed, doer, etc. ) ; to let it go means: 
being no longer able to think. 

But that a belief, however necessary it may be for the preserva- 
tion of a species, has nothing to do with truth, one knows from 
the fact that, e.g., we have to believe in time, space, and motion, 
without feeling compelled to grant them absolute reality. 

488 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Psychological derivation of our belief in reason. — The con- 
cept “reality,” “being,” is taken from our feeling of the “subject.” 

“The subject”: interpreted from within ourselves, so that 
the ego counts as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer. 


5 Cf. section 473. 




270 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, 
accident, attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our 
habit of regarding all our deeds as consequences of our will — so 
that the ego, as substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of 
change. — But there is no such thing as will. — 

We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a 
“world in itself” from a “world of appearance.” All our categories 
of reason are of sensual origin: derived from the empirical' world. 
“The soul,” “the ego” — the history of these concepts shows that 
here, too, the oldest distinction (“breath,” “life”) — 

If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. 
The concept no longer contains anything. 

No subject “atoms.” The sphere of a subject constantly grow- 
ing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; 
in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks 
into two parts; On the other hand, it can transform a weaker sub- 
ject into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain 
degree form a new unity with it. No “substance,” rather some- 
thing that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to 
“preserve” itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself—). 


489 { 1886 - 1887 ) 

Everything that enters consciousness as “unity” is already 
tremendously complex: we always have only a semblance of unity. 

The phenomenon of the body is the richer, clearer, more 
tangible phenomenon: to be discussed first, methodologically, 
without coming to any decision about its ultimate significance. 

490 ( 7 885 ) 

The assumption of one single subject is perhaps unnecessary; 
perhaps it is just as permissible to assume a multiplicity of sub- 
jects, whose interaction and struggle is the basis of our thought 
and our consciousness in general? A kind of aristocracy of “cells” 
in which dominion resides? To be sure, an aristocracy of equals, 
used to ruling jointly and understanding how to command? 

My hypotheses: The subject as multiplicity. 

Pain intellectual and dependent upon the judgment “harm- 
ful”: projected. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 271 

The effect always “unconscious”: the inferred and imagined 
cause is projected, follows in time. 

Pleasure is a kind of pain. 

The only force that exists is of the same kind as that of 
the will: a commanding of other subjects, which thereupon change. 

The continual transitoriness and fleetingness of the subject. 
“Mortal soul.” 

Number as perspective form. 

491 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Belief in the body is more fundamental than belief in the soul: 
the latter arose from unscientific reflection on [the agonies of ] 4 
the body (something that leaves it. Belief in the truth of dreams — ). 

492 (1885) 

The body and physiology the starting point: why? — We gain 
the correct idea of the nature of our subject-unity, namely as 
regents at the head of a communality (not as “souls” or “life 
forces”), also of the dependence of these regents upon the ruled 
and of an order of rank and division of labor as the conditions 
that make possible the whole and its parts. In the same way, how 
living unities continually arise and die and how the “subject” is 
not eternal; in the same way, that the struggle expresses itself in 
obeying and commanding, and that a fluctuating assessment of 
the limits of power is part of life. The relative ignorance in which 
the regent is kept concerning individual activities and even dis- 
turbances within the communality is among the conditions under 
which rule can be exercised. In short, we also gain a valuation of 
not-knowing, of seeing things on a broad scale, of simplification 
and falsification, of perspectivity. The most important thing, how- 
ever, is: that we understand that the ruler and his subjects are of 
the same kind, all feeling, willing, thinking — and that, wherever 
we see or divine movement in a body, we learn to conclude that 
there is a subjective, invisible life appertaining to it. Movement 
is symbolism for the eye; it indicates that something has been felt, 
willed, thought. 

‘The words I have placed in brackets were interpolated by the German 
editors, on the basis of one of Nietzsche’s other notes. 




272 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The danger of the direct questioning of the subject about the 
subject and of all self-reflection of the spirit lies in this, that it 
could be useful and important for one’s activity to interpret oneself 
falsely. That is why we question the body and reject the evidence 
of the sharpened senses: we try, if you like, to see whether the 
inferior parts themselves cannot enter into communication with us. 


4. Biology of the Drive to Knowledge. 
Perspeetivism 

493 (1885) 

Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of 
life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive . 6 

494 (1885) 

It is improbable that our “knowledge” should extend further 
than is strictly necessary for the preservation of life. Morphology 
shows us how the senses and the nerves, as well as the brain, de- 
velop in proportion to the difficulty of finding nourishment. 

495 

If the morality of “thou shalt not lie” is rejected, the “sense 
for truth” will have to legitimize itself before another tribunal: — 
as a means of the preservation of man, as will to power. 

Likewise our love of the beautiful: it also is our shaping will. 
The two senses stand side-by-side; the sense for the real is the 
means of acquiring the power to shape things according to our 
wish. The joy in shaping and reshaping— a primeval joy! We can 
comprehend only a world that we ourselves have made. 

496 (1884) 

Of the multifariousness of knowledge. To trace one’s own 
relationship to many other things (or the relationship of kind) — 
how should that be “knowledge” of other things! The way of 
knowing and of knowledge is itself already part of the conditions 

‘Cf. sections 483 and 487; but also 172. 



273 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

of existence: so that the conclusion that there could be no other 
kind of intellect (for us) than that which preserves us is pre- 
cipitate: this actual condition of existence is perhaps only accidental 
and perhaps in no way necessary. 

Our apparatus for acquiring knowledge is not designed for 
“knowledge.” 


497 { 1884 ) 

The most strongly believed a priori “truths” are for me — pro- 
visional assumptions ; e.g., the law Of causality, a very well acquired 
habit of belief, so much a part of us that not to believe in it 
would destroy the race. But are they for that reason truths? What 
a conclusion! As if the preservation of man were a proof of truth! 

498 { 1884 ) 

To what extent even our intellect is a consequence of condi- 
tions of existence — : we would not have it if we did not need to 
have it, and we would not have it as it is if we did not need to 
have it as it is, if we could live otherwise. 

499 { 1885 ) 

“Thinking” in primitive conditions (pre-organic) is the crys- 
tallization of forms, as in the case of crystal. — In our thought, 
the essential feature is fitting new material into old schemas ( = 
Procrustes’ bed), making equal what is hew. 

500 { 1885 - 1886 ) 

Sense perceptions projected “outside”: “inside” and “out- 
side”— does the body command here — ? 

The same equalizing and ordering force that rules in the 
idioplasma, rules also in the incorporation of the outer world: 
our sense perceptions are already the result of this assimiliation 
and equalization in regard to all the past in us; they do not follow 
directly upon the “impression” — 

501 { 1886 - 1887 ) 

All thought, judgment, perception, considered as comparison, 



274 


THE WILL TO POWER 


has as its precondition a u positing of equality,” and earlier still 
a "making equal.” The process of making equal is the same as 
the process of incorporation of appropriated material in the 
amoeba. 

“Memory” late, in so far as here the drive to make equal 
seems already to have been subdued: differentiation is preserved. 
Remembering as a process of classification and pigeonholing: who 
is active? 


502 (1885) 

One must revise one’s ideas about memory; here lies the 
chief temptation to assume a “soul,” which, outside time, repro- 
duces, recognizes, etc. But that which is experienced lives on “in 
the memory”; I cannot help it if it “comes back,” the will is 
inactive in this case, as in the coming of any thought. Something 
happens of which I become conscious: now something similar 
comes — who called it? roused it? 

503 (1884) 

The entire apparatus of knowledge is an apparatus for ab- 
straction and simplification— directed not at knowledge but at 
taking possession of things: “end” and “means” are as remote 
from its essential nature as are “concepts.” With “end” and 
“means” one takes possession of the process (one invents a process 
that Can be grasped); with “concepts,” however, of the “things" 
that constitute the process. 

504 (1883-1888) 

Consciousness — beginning quite externally, as coordination 
and becoming conscious of “impressions”— at first at the furthest 
distance from the biological center of the individual; but a process 
that deepens and intensifies itself, and continually draws nearer 
to that center. 


505 (1885-1886) 


Our perceptions, as we understand them: i.e., the sum of all 
those perceptions the becoming-conscious of which was useful 



275 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

and essential to us and to the entire organic process — therefore 
not all perceptions in general (e; g., not the electric); this means: 
we have senses for only a selection of perceptions — those with 
which we have to concern ourselves in order to preserve ourselves. 
Consciousness is present only to the extent that consciousness is 
useful. It cannot be doubted that all sense perceptions are per- 
meated with? value judgments (useful and harmful — consequently, 
pleasant or unpleasant). Each individual color is also for us an 
expression of value (although we seldom admit it, or do so only 
after a protracted impression of exclusively the same color; e.g., 
a prisoner in prison, or a lunatic). Thus insects also react differently 
to different colors: some like [this color, some that]; 7 e.g., ants. 

506 (1884) 

First images — to explain how images arise in the spirit. Then 
words, applied to images. Finally Concepts, possible only when 
there are words — the collecting together of many images in some- 
thing nonvisible but audible (word). The tiny amount of emotion to 
which the “word” gives rise, as we contemplate similar images for 
which one word exists— this weak emotion is the common element, 
the basis of the concept. That weak sensations are regarded as alike, 
sensed as being the same, is the fundamental fact. Thus cOrifusion 
of two sensations that are close neighbors, as we take note of these 
sensations; but who is taking; note? Believing is the primal beginning 
even in every sense impression: a kind of affirmation the first 
intellectual activity! A “holding-true” in the beginning! Therefore 
it is to be explained: hOw “holding-true” arose! What sensation 
lies behind “true”? 


507 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The valuation “I believe that this and that is so” as the 
essence of "truth.” In valuations are expressed conditions of pre- 
servation and growth. All our organs of knowledge and our senses 
are developed only with regard to conditions of preservation and 

* Emphasis mine, to call attention to an exceptionally interesting state- 
ment. In the original the preceding sentence is emphasized, but in this one 
only “value judgments.” 

’ The words I have placed in brackets were substituted for Nietzsche’s 
“them” by the German editors. 



276 


THE WILL TO POWER 


growth. Trust in reason and its categories, in dialectic, therefore 
the valuation of logic, proves only their usefulness for life, proved 
by experience — not that something is true. 

That a great deal of belief must be present; that judgments 
may be ventured; that doubt concerning all essential values is 
lacking — that is the precondition of every living thing and its life. 
Therefore, what is needed is that something must be held to be 
true — not that something is true. 

“The real and the apparent world”— I have traced this anti- 
thesis back to value relations. We have projected the conditions 
of our preservation as predicates of being in general. Because we 
have to be stable in our beliefs if we are to prosper, we have made 
the “real” world a world not of change and becoming, but one of 
being. 


5. Origin of Reason and Logic 

508 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Originally a chaos of ideas. The ideas that were consistent 
with one another remained, the greater number perished— and are 
perishing. 

509 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

the earthly kingdom Of desires out of which logic grew: the 
herd instinct in the background. The assumption of similar cases 
presupposes “similar souls.” For the purpose of mutual agreement 
and dominion. 


510 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

On the origin of logic. The fundamental inclination to posit 
as equal, to see things as equal, is modified, held in check, by 
consideration of usefulness and harmfulness, by considerations 
of success: it adapts itself to a milder degree in which it can be 
satisfied without at the same time denying and endangering life. 
This whole process corresponds exactly to that external, mechanical 
process (which is its symbol) by which protoplasm makes what 
it appropriates equal to itself and fits it into its own forms and 
files. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


277 


511 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Equality and similarity. 

1. The coarser organ sees much apparent equality; 

2. the spirit wants equality, i.e., to subsume a sense impression 
into an existing series: in the same way as the body assimilates 
inorganic matter. 

Toward an understanding of logic: 

the will to equality is the will to power — the belief that 
something is thus and thus (the essence of judgment ) is 
the consequence of a will that as much as possible shall be 
equal. 


512 (1885) 

Logic is bound to the condition: assume there are identical 
cases. In fact, to make possible logical thinking and inferences, 
this condition must first be treated fictitously as fulfilled. That is: 
the will to logical truth can be carried through only after a funda- 
mental falsification of all events is assumed. From which it follows 
that a drive rules here that is capable of employing both means, 
firstly falsification, then the implementation of its own point of 
view: logic does not spring from will to truth. 

513 (Fall 1886) 

The inventive force that invented categories labored in the 
Service of our needs, namely of our need for security, for quick 
understanding on the basis of Signs and sounds, for means of 
abbreviation:— “substance,” “subject/’ “object,” “being,” “becom- 
ing” have nothing to do with metaphysical truths.— 

It is the powerful who made the names of things into law, 
and among the powerful it is the greatest artists in abstraction who 
created the categories. 

514 (March-Jurie 1888) 

A morality, a mode of living tried and proved by long ex- 
perience and testing, at length enters consciousness as a law, as 
dominating — And therewith the entire group of related values and 
states enters into it: it becomes venerable, unassailable, holy, true; 



278 


THE WILL TO POWER 


it is part of its development that its origin should be forgotten — 
That is a sign it has become master — 

Exactly the same thing could have happened with the cate- 
gories of reason: they could have prevailed, after much groping 
and fumbling, through their relative utility — There came a point 
when one collected them together, raised them to consciousness as 
a whole — and when one commanded them, i.e., when they had 
the effect of a command — From then on, they counted as a priori, 
as beyond experience, as irrefutable. And yet perhaps they repre- 
sent nothing more than the expediency of a certain race and species 
—their utility alone is their “truth” — 

515 ( March-] une 1888 ) 

Not “to know” but to schematize — to impose upon chaos as 
much regularity and form as our practical needs require. 

In the formation of reason, logic, the categories, it was need 
that was authoritative: the need, not to “know,” but to subsume, to 
schematize, for the purpose of intelligibility and calculation- — (The 
development of reason is adjustment, invention, with the aim of 
making similar, equal — the same process that every sense im- 
pression goes through!) No pre-existing “idea” was here at work, 
but the utilitarian fact that only when we see things coarsely and 
made equal do they become calculable and usable to us— Finality 
in reason is an effect, not a cause: life miscarries with any other 
kinds of reason, to which there is a continual impulse — it becomes 
difficult to survey— too unequal — 

The categories are “truths’” only in the sense that they are 
conditions of life for us: as Euclidean space is a conditional 8 
“truth.” (Between ourselves: since no one would maintain that 
there is any necessity for men to exist, reason, as well as Euclidean 
space, is a mere idiosyncracy of a certain species of animal, and 
one among many — ) 

The subjective compulsion not to contradict here is a biolo- 
gical compulsion: the instinct for the utility of inferring as we do 
infer is part of us, we almost are this instinct — But what naivete 
to extract from this a proof that we are therewith in possession 


*MS: bedingt (conditioned); printed versions: bedingende (condition- 
ing). The editors took their cue from Kant, not from Nietzsche’s next sen- 
tence. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 279 

of a “truth in itself”! — Not being able to contradict is proof of 
an incapacity, not of “truth.” 

516 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

We are unable to affirm and to deny one and the same thing: 
this is a subjective empirical law, not the expression of any 
“necessity” but only of an inability. 

If, according to Aristotle, the law of contradiction is the most 
certain of all principles, if it is the ultimate and most basic, upon 
which every demonstrative proof rests, if the principle of every 
axiom lies in it; then one should consider all the more rigorously 
what presuppositions already lie at the bottom of it. Either it 
asserts something about actuality, about being, as if one already 
knew this from another source; that is, as if opposite attributes 
could not be ascribed to it. Or the proposition means: opposite 
attributes should not be ascribed to it. In that case, logic would be 
an imperative, not to know the true, but to posit and arrange a 
world that shall be called true by us. 

In short, the question remains open: are the axioms of logic 
adequate to reality or are they a means and measure for us to 
create reality, the concept “reality,” for ourselves? — To affirm 
the former one would, as already said, have to have a previous 
knowledge of being— which is certainly not the case. The propo- 
sition therefore contains no criterion of truth, but an imperative 
concerning that which should count as true. 

Supposing there were no self-identical “A”, such as is pre- 
supposed by every proposition of logic (and of mathematics), and 
the “A” were already mere appearance, then logic would have a 
merely apparent world as its condition. In fact, we believe in this 
proposition under the influence of ceaseless experience which 
seems continually to confirm it. The “thing” — that is the real 
substratum of "A"; our belief in things is the precondition of our 
belief in logic. The “A” of logic is, like the atom, a reconstruction 
of the thing — If we do not grasp this, but make of logic a criterion 
of true being, we are on the way to positing as realities all those 
hypostases: substance, attribute, object, subject, action, etc.; that 
is, to conceiving a metaphysical world, that is, a “real world” 
( — this, however, is the apparent world once more — ). 

The very first acts of thought, affirmation and denial, holding 



280 


THE WILL TO POWER 


true and holding not true, are, in as much as they presuppose, 
not only the habit of holdings things true and holding them not 
true, but a right to do this, already dominated by the belief that we 
can gain possession of knowledge, that judgments really can hit 
upon the truth; — in short, logic does not doubt its ability to assert 
something about the true-in-itself (namely, that it cannot have 
opposite attributes). 

Here reigns the coarse sensualistic prejudice that sensations 
teach us truths about things — that I cannot say at the same time 
of one and the same thing that it is hard and that it is soft. (The 
instinctive proof “I cannot have two opposite sensations at the 
same time” — -quite coarse and false.) 

The conceptual ban on contradiction proceeds from the 
belief that we are able to form concepts, that the concept not 
only designates the essence of a thing but comprehends it — In 
fact, logic (like geometry and arithmetic) applies only to fictitious 
entities that we have created. Logic is the attempt to comprehend 
the actual world by means of a scheme of being posited by our- 
selves; more correctly, to make it formulatable and calculable for 
us— 


517 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

In order to think and infer it is necessary to assume beings: 
logic handles only formulas for what remains the same. That is 
why this assumption would not be proof of reality: “beings” are 
part of our perspective. The “ego” as a being ( — not affected by 
becoming and development). 

The fictitious world of subject, substance, “reason,” etc., is 
needed — : there is in us a power to order, simplify, falsify, arti- 
ficially distinguish. “Truth” is the will to be master over the 
multiplicity of sensations:— to classify phenomena into definite 
categories. In this we start from a belief in the “in-itself” of things 
(we take phenomena as real). 

The character of the world in a state of becoming as incapable 
of formulation, as “false,” as ‘“self-contradictory.” Knowledge and 
becoming exclude one another. Consequently, “knowledge” must 
be something else: there must first of all be a will to make know- 
able, a kind of becoming must itself create the deception of beings. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


281 


518 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

If our “ego” is for us the sole being, after the model of which 
we fashion and understand all being: very well! Then there would 
be very much room to doubt whether what we have here is not a 
perspective illusion — an apparent unity that encloses everything 
like a horizon. The evidence of the body reveals a tremendous 
multiplicity; it is allowable, for purposes of method, to employ the 
more easily studied, richer phenomena as evidence for the un- 
derstanding of the poorer. Finally: supposing everything is be- 
coming, then knowledge is possible only on the basis of belief in 
being. 


519 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

If there “is only one being, the ego” and all other “being” 
is fashioned after its model — if, finally, belief in the “ego” stands 
or falls with belief in logic, i.e., the metaphysical truth of the 
categories of reason; if, on the other hand, the ego proves to be 
something in a state of becoming: then — 

520 ( 1885 ) 

Continual transition forbids us to speak of “individuals,” etc; 
the “number” of beings is itself in flux. We would know nothing 
of time and motion if we did not, in a coarse fashion, believe we 
see what is at “rest” beside what is in motion. The same applies 
to cause and effect, and without the erroneous conception of 
“empty space” we should certainly not have acquired the con- 
ception of space. The principle of identity has behind it the 
“apparent fact” of things that are the same. A world in a state 
of becoming could not, in a strict sense, be “comprehended” or 
“known”; only to the extent that the “comprehending” and “know- 
ing” intellect encounters a coarse, already-created world, fabricated 
out of mere appearances but become firm to the extent that this 
kind of appearance has preserved life — only to this extent is there 
anything like “knowledge”; i.e., a measuring of earlier and later 
errors by one another. 



282 


THE WILL TO POWER 


521 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

On “ logical semblance ’’ — The concepts “individual” and 
“species” equally false and merely apparent. “Species” expresses 
only the fact that an abundance of similar creatures appear at the 
same time and that the tempo of their further growth and change 
is for a long time slowed down, so actual small continuations 
and increases are not very much noticed ( — a phase of evolution in 
which the evolution is not visible, so an equilibrium seems to have 
been attained, making possible the false notion that a goal has 
been attained — and that evolution has a goal — ). 

The form counts as something enduring and therefore more 
valuable; but the form has merely been invented by us; and how- 
ever often “the same form is attained,” it does not mean that 
it is the same form — what appears is always something new, and 
it is only we, who are always comparing, who include the new, to 
the extent that it is similar to the old, in the unity of the “form.” 
As if a type should be attained and, as it were, was intended by 
and inherent in the process of formation. 

Form, species, law, idea, purpose — in all these cases the 
same error is made of giving a false reality to a fiction, as if events 
were in some way obedient to something — an artificial distinction 
is made in respect of events between that which acts and that 
toward which the act is directed (but this “which” and this 
“toward” are only posited in obedience to our metaphysical-logical 
dogmatism: they are not “facts”). 

One should not understand this compulsion to construct 
concepts, species, forms, purposes, laws ("a world of identical 
cases”) as if they enabled us to fix the real world; but as a com- 
pulsion to arrange a world for ourselves in which our existence is 
made possible: — we thereby create a world which is calculable, 
simplified, comprehensible, etc., for us. 

This same compulsion exists in the sense activities that support 
reason — by simplification, coarsening, emphasizing, and elaborat- 
ing, upon which all “recognition,” all ability to make oneself 
intelligible rests. Our needs have made our senses so precise that 
the “same apparent world” always reappears and has thus acquired 
the semblance of reality. 

Our subjective compulsion to believe in logic only reveals 
that, long before logic itself entered our consciousness, we did 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 283 

nothing but introduce its postulates into events: now we discover 
them in events — we can no longer do otherwise— -and imagine 
that this compulsion guarantees something connected with “truth.” 
It is we who created the “thing,” the “identical thing,” subject, 
attribute, activity, object, substance, form, after we had long 
pursued the process of making identical, coarse and simple. The 
world seems logical to us because we have made it logical. 

522 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Ultimate solution . — We believe in reason: this, however, is 
the philosophy of gray concepts. Language depends on the most 
naive prejudices. 

Now we read disharmonies and problems into things because 
we think only in the form of language — and thus believe in the 
“eternal truth” of “reason” (e.g., subject, attribute, etc.) 

We cease to think when we refuse to dp so under the constraint 
of language; we barely reach the doubt that sees this limitation as 
a limitation. 

Rational thought is interpretation according to a scheme that 
we cannot throw off. 


6 . Consciousness 

523 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Nothing is more erroneous than to make of psychical and 
physical phenomena the two faces, the two revelations of one and 
the same substance: Nothing is explained thereby: the concept 
“substance” is perfectly useless as an explanation. Consciousness 
in a subsidiary role, almost indifferent, superfluous, perhaps destined 
to vanish and give way to a perfect automatism — 

When we observe only the inner phenomena we may be 
compared with the deaf-and-dumb, who divine through movements 
of the lips the words they do not hear. From the phenomena of 
the inner sense we conclude the existence of invisible and other 
phenomena that we would apprehend if our means of observation 
were adequate and that one calls the nerve current. 

We 9 lack any sensitive organs for this inner world, so we sense 

' Not a real sentence in the MS where this paragraph begins: “That an 
inner world, for which we lack . . 



284 


THE WILL TO POWER 


a thousandfold complexity as a unity; so we introduce causation 
where any reason for motion and change remains invisible to us 
— the sequence of thoughts and feelings is only their becoming- 
visible in consciousness. That this sequence has anything to do 
with a causal chain is completely unbelievable: consciousness has 
never furnished us with an example of cause and effect. 

524 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

The role of " consciousness — It is essential that one should 
not make a mistake over the role of “consciousness”: it is our 
relation with the “outer world” that evolved it. On the other hand, 
the direction or protection and care in respect of the co-ordination 
of the bodily functions does not enter our consciousness; any more 
than spiritual accumulation: that a higher court rules over these 
things cannot be doubted — a kind of directing committee on which 
the various chief desires make their votes and power felt. “Pleasure,” 
“displeasure” are hints from this sphere; also the act of will; also 
ideas. 

In summa: That which becomes conscious is involved in 
causal relations which are entirely withheld from us— the sequence 
of thoughts, feelings, ideas in consciousness does not signify that 
this sequence is a causal sequence; but apparently it is so, to the 
highest degree. Upon this appearance we have founded our whole 
idea of spirit, reason, logic, etc. ( — none of these exist: they are 
fictitious syntheses and unities), and projected these into things 
and behind things! 

Usually, one takes consciousness itself as the general senso- 
rium and supreme court; nonetheless, it is only a means of com- 
munication: it is evolved through social intercourse and with a view 
to the interests of social intercourse — “Intercourse” here under- 
stood to include the influences of the outer world and the reactions 
they compel on our side; also our effect upon the outer world. It 
is not the directing agent, but an organ of the directing agent. 

525 (1888) 

My proposition compressed into a formula that smells of 
antiquity, Christianity, scholasticism, and other muskiness: in the 
concept “God as spirit,” God as perfection is negated — 



book threb: Principles of A New Evaluation 


285 


526 (March- June 1888 ) 

Where a certain unity obtains in the grouping of things, one 
has always posited spirit as the cause of this coordination: for 
which notion there is no ground whatever. Why should the idea 
of a complex fact be one of the conditions of this fact? or why 
should the notion of a complex fact have to precede it as its 
cause? — 

We shall be on our guard against explaining purposiveness 
in terms of spirit: there is no ground whatever for ascribing to 
spirit the properties of organization and systematization. The 
nervous system has a much more extensive domain; the world of 
consciousness is added to it. Consciousness plays no role in the 
total process of adaptation and systematization. 

527 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Physiologists, like philosophers, believe that consciousness 
increases in value in proportion as it increases in clarity: the 
clearest consciousness, the most logical and coldest thinking, is 
supposed to be of the first rank. However — by what measure is 
this value determined? — In regard to release of will, the most 
superficial, most simplified thinking is the most useful — it could 
therefore — etc. (because it leaves few motives oyer). 

Precision in action is antagonistic to far-seeing providentiality, 
the judgments of which are often uncertain: the latter is led by 
the deeper instinct. 


528 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Principal error of psychologists: they regard the indistinct 
idea as a lower kind of idea than the distinct: but that which 
removes itself from our consciousness and for that reason becomes 
obscure can on that account be perfectly clear in itself. Becoming 
obscure is a matter of perspective of consciousness. 

529 (March-June 1888 ) 

Tremendous blunders: 

1. the absurd overestimation of consciousness, the transfer- 



286 the will to power 

mation of it into a unity, an entity: “spirit,” “soul,” something that 
feels, thinks, wills — 

2. spirit as cause, especially wherever purposiveness, system, 
co-ordination appear; 

3. consciousness as the highest achieveable form, as the 
supreme kind of being, as “God”; 

4. will introduced wherever there are effects; 

5. the “real world” as a spiritual world, as accessible through 
the facts of consciousness; 

6. knowledge as uniquely the faculty of consciousness 
wherever there is knowledge at all. 

Consequences: 

every advance lies in an advance in becoming conscious; 
every regression in becoming unconscious; ( — becoming un- 
conscious was considered a falling back to the desires and senses 
—as becoming animal — ) 

one approaches reality, “real being,” through dialectic; one 
distances oneself from it through the instincts, senses, mecha- 
nism — 

to resolve man into spirit would mean to make him into God: 
spirit, will, goodness — qll One; 

all good must proceed from spirituality, must be a fact of 
consciousness; 

any advance toward the better can only be an advance in 
becoming conscious. 


7. Judgment. True — False 

530 ( 1883-1888 ) 

In the case of Kant, theological prejudice, his unconscious 
dogmatism, his moralistic perspective, were dominant, directing, 
commanding. 

The proton pseudos: 10 how is the fact of knowledge possible? 
is knowledge a fact at all? what is knowledge? If we do not know 
what knowledge is, we cannot possibly answer the question whether 
there is knowledge. — Very well! But if I do not already “know” 
whether there is knowledge, whether there can be knowledge, I 
cannot reasonably put the question “what is knowledge?” Kant 


“ First falsehood or original error. 




hook three: Principles of A New Evaluation 287 

believes in the fact of knowledge: what he wants is a piece of 
naivete : knowledge of knowledge! 

“Knowledge is judgment!” But judgment is a belief that some- 
thing is thus and thus! And not knowledge! “All knowledge consists 
of synthetic judgments” of universal validity (the case is thus and 
not otherwise in every case), of necessary validity (the opposite 
of the assertion can never occur). 

The legitimacy of belief in knowledge is always presupposed: 
just as the legitimacy of the feelings of conscience-judgments is 
presupposed. Here moral ontology is the dominant prejudice. 

The conclusion is therefore: 

1. there are assertions that we consider universally valid and 
necessary; 

2. necessity and universal validity cannot be derived from 
experience; 

3. consequently they must be founded, not upon experience, 
but upon something else, and derive from another source of 
knowledge! 

(Kant infers (1) there are assertions which are valid only 
under a certain condition; (2) this condition is that they derive, 
not from experience, but from pure reason.) 

Therefore: the question is, whence do we derive our reasons 
for believing in the truth of such assertions? No, how our belief 
is caused! But the origin of a belief, of a strong conviction, is a 
psychological problem: and a very narrow and limited experience 
often produces such a belief! It already presupposes that there 
is not "data a posteriori" but also data a priori, “preceding ex- 
perience,” Necessity and universal validity could never be given 
to us by experience: why does that mean that they are present 
without any experience at all? 

There are no isolated judgments! 

An isolated judgment is never “true,” never knowledge; only 
in the connection and relation of many judgments is there any 
surety. 

What distinguishes the true from the false belief? What is 
knowledge? He “knows” it, that is heavenly! 

Necessity and universality can never be given by experience! 
Thus they are independent of experience, prior to all experience! 
That insight that occurs a priori, therefore independently of all 
experience, out of sheer reason, is “a pure form of knowledge”! 

“The basic laws of logic, the law of identity and the law of 



288 


the will to power 


contradiction, are forms of pure knowledge* because they precede 
all experience.” — But these are not forms of knowledge at all! 
they are regulative articles of belief. 

To establish the a priori character (the pure rationality) of the 
judgments of mathematics, space must be conceived as a form of 
pure reason. 

Hume had declared: “There are no synthetic a priori judg- 
ments.” Kant says: But there are! Those of mathematics! And 
if there are such judgments, perhaps there is also metaphysics* a 
knowledge of things by pure reason! 

Mathematics is possible under conditions under which meta- 
physics is never possible. All human knowlege is either experience 
or mathematics. 

A judgment is synthetic; i.e., it connects different ideas. 

It is a priori; i.e., every connection is a universally valid and 
necessary one, which can never be given by sense perception but 
only through pure reason. 

If there are to be synthetic a priori judgments, then reason 
must be in a position to make connections: connection is a form. 
Reason must possess the capacity of giving form. 

531 { 1885 - 1886 ) 

Judgment is our oldest belief, Our most habitual holding-true 
or holding-untrue, an assertion or denial, a certainty that something 
is thus and not otherwise, a belief that here we really “know”— 
what is it that is believed true in all judgments? 

What are attributes?—- We have not regarded change in US as 
change but as an “in itself” that is foreign to Us, that we merely 
“perceive”: and we have posited it, not as an event* but as a being, 
as a “quality” — and in addition invented an entity to Which it 
adheres; i.e., we have regarded the effect as something that effects, 
and this we have regarded aS a being. But even in this formulation, 
the concept “effect” is arbitrary: for those changes that take place 
in us, and that we firmly believe we have not ourselves caused, we 
merely infer to be effects, in accordance with the conclusion: 
“every change must have an author”; — but this conclusion is 
already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. 
If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an 
activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the 
event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, is. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


289 


and does not “become.” — To regard an event as an “effecting,” 
and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of 
which we are guilty. 


532 (1885) 

Judgment — this is the belief: “This and that are so.” Thus 
there is in every judgment the avowal of having encountered an 
“identical case”: it therefore presupposes comparison with the 
aid of memory. The judgment does not produce the appearance of 
an identical case. Rather it believes it perceives one: it works 
under the presupposition that identical cases exist. Now, what is 
that function that must be much older and must have been at work 
much earlier, that makes cases identical and similar which are in 
themselves dissimilar? What is that second function, which on the 
basis of the first, etc. “Whatever arouses the same sensation is the 
same”: but what is it that makes sensations the same, “accepts” 
them as the same? There could be no judgments at all if a kind 
of equalization were not practiced within sensations: memory is 
possible only with a continual emphasizing of what is already 
familiar, experienced. — Before judgment occurs, the process of 
assimilation must already have taken place; thus here, too, there 
is an intellectual activity that does not enter consciousness, as pain 
does as a consequence of a wound. Probably an inner event 
corresponds to each organic function; hence assimilation, rejection, 
growth, etc. 

Essential: to start from the body and employ it as guide. It 
is the much richer phenomenon, which allows of clearer observa- 
tion. Belief in the body is better established than belief in the 
spirit. 

“No matter how strongly a thing may be believed, strength 
of belief is no criterion of truth.” But what is truth? Perhaps a 
kind of belief that has become a condition of life? In that case, 
to be sure, strength could be a criterion; e.g., in regard to causality. 


533 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Logical certainty, transparency, as criterion of truth (“omne 
illud verum est, quod clare et distincte percipitur.” n — Descartes) : 


“ All that is true which is perceived clearly and distinctly. 




290 


THE WILL TO POWER 


with that, the mechanical hypothesis concerning the world is desired 
and credible. 

But this is a crude confusion: like simplex sigillum veri.™ 
How does one know that the real nature of things stands in this 
relation to our intellect? — Could it not be otherwise? that it is 
the hypothesis that gives the intellect the greatest feeling of power 
and security, that is most preferred, valued and consequently 
characterized as true? — The intellect posits its freest and strongest 
capacity and capability as criterion of the most valuable, con- 
sequently of the true — 

“True”: from the standpoint of feeling — : that which excites 
the feeling most strongly (“ego”); 

from the standpoint of thought — : that which gives thought 
the greatest feeling of strength; 

from the standpoint of touch, seeing, hearing — : that which 
calls for the greatest resistance. 

Thus it is the highest degrees of performance that awaken 
belief in the “truth,” that is to say reality, of the object. The feeling 
of strength, of struggle, of resistance convinces us that there is 
something that is here being resisted. 

534 ( 1887 - 1888 ) 

The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling 
of power. 


535 ( 1885 )™ 

“Truth”: this, according to my way of thinking, does not 
necessarily denote the antithesis of error, but in the most funda- 
mental cases only the posture of various errors in relation to one 
another. Perhaps one is older, more profound than another, even 
ineradicable, in so far as an organic entity of our species could not 
live without it; while other errors do not tyrannize over us in this 
way as conditions of life, but on the contrary when compared with 
such “tyrants” can be set aside and “refuted.” 

An assumption that is irrefutable — why should it for that 
reason be “true”? This proposition may perhaps outrage logicians, 

11 Simplicity is the seal of truth. 

" MS not in Nietzsche's hand; evidently dictated. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 291 

who posit their limitations as the limitations of things: but I long 
ago declared war on this optimism of logicians. 

536 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

Everything simple is merely imaginary, is not “true.” But 
whatever is real, whatever is true, is rieither one nor even,,reducible 
to one. 


537 ( 1885-1888 ) 

What is truth? — Inertia; that hypothesis which gives rise to 
contentment; smallest expenditure of spiritual force, etc. 

538 ( 1883-1888 ) 

First proposition. The easier mode of thought conquers the 
harder mode; — as dogma: simplex sigillum veri. — Dico: u to sup- 
pose that clarity proves anything about truth is perfect childish- 
ness — 

Second proposition. The doctrine of being, of things, of all 
sorts of fixed unities is a hundred times easier than the doctrine of 
becoming, of development — 

Third proposition. Logic was intended as facilitation; as a 
means of expression — not as truth — Later it acquired the effect 
of truth — 


539 ( March-June 1888) 

Parmenides said, “one cannot think of what is not”; — we are 
at the other extreme, and say “what can be thought of must cer- 
tainly be a fiction.” 16 


540 (1885) 

There are many kinds of eyes. Even the sphinx has eyes — 
and consequently there are many kinds of “truths,” and con- 
sequently there is no truth. 

It]tsay 

“ In the MS an incomplete sentence follows: “thinking has no relation 
[reading uncertain] to what is real, but only to. . . " 




292 


THE WILL TO POWER 


541 (March-June 1888 ) 

Inscriptions for the Door of a Modern Madhouse 

“What is thought necessarily is morally necessary.” Herbert 
Spencer. 

“The ultimate test of the truth of a proposition is the in- 
conceivability of its negation.” Herbert Spencer. 19 

542 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888) 

If the character of existence should be falser— which would be 
possible — what would truth, all our truth, be then? — An un- 
conscionable falsification of the false? The false raised to a higher 
power? — • 

543 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

In a world that is essentially false, truthfulness would be an 
antinatural tendency: such a tendency could have meaning only 
as a means to a higher power of falsehood. In order for a world 
of the true, of being, to be invented, the truthful man would first 
have to be created (including the fact that such a man believes him- 
self “truthful”). 

Simple, transparent, not in contradiction with himself, durable, 
remaining always the same, without wrinkle, volt, concealment, 
form: a man of this kind conceives a world of being as “God” in 
his own image. 

For truthfulness to be possible, the whole sphere of man must 
be very clean, small and, respectable; advantage xn every sense 
must be with the truthful man. — Lies, deception, dissimulation 
must arouse astonishment — 

544 (1885-1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Increase in “dissimulation” proportionate to the rising order 
of rank of creatures. It seems to be lacking in the inorganic world — 
power against power, quite crudely — cunning begins in the organic 
world; plants are already masters of it. The highest human beings, 

“ Quotations translated from Nietzsche’s German. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


293 


such as Caesar, Napoleon (Stendhal’s remark on him ), 17 also the 
higher races (Italians), the Greeks (Odysseus); a thousandfold 
craftiness belongs to the essence of the enhancement of man — 
Problem of the actor. My Dionysus ideal — The perspective of 
all organic functions, all the strongest instincts of life: the force in 
all life that wills error; error as the precondition even of thought. 
Before there is “thought” there must have been “invention ”; 18 
the construction of identical cases, of the appearance of sameness, 
is more primitive than the knowledge of sameness. 


8. Against Causalism 

545 ( 1885 ) 

I believe in absolute space as the substratum of force: the 
latter limits and forms. Time eternal. But space and time do not 
exist in themselves. “Changes” are only appearances (or sense 
processes for us); if we posit the recurrence of these, however 
regular, nothing is established thereby except this simple fact, 
that it has always happened thus. The feeling that post hoc is 
propter hoc can easily be shown to be a misunderstanding; it is 
comprehensible. But appearances cannot be “causes”! 


546 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

The interpretation of an event as either an act or the suffering 
of an act ( — thus every act a suffering) says: every change, every 

” Nietzsche copied a passage from Stendhal’s Vie de Napoleon (“Life 
of Napoleon,” Preface, p. xv) into another notebook: "Une croyance presque 
instinctive chez moi c'est que tout homme puissant ment quand il parle et 
4 plus forte raison quand il ecril" (An almost instinctive faith with me that 
every powerful man lies when he speaks and the more when he writes). 

a Bevor “gedacht" wird, muss schon "gedichtet” worden sein. The 
phrase Das Volk der Dichter und Denker (gedacht is the past participle of 
denken ) means “the people of thinkers and poets,” and dichten usually 
means writing poetry. But the title of Goethe’s autobiographical Dichtung 
und Wahrheit means “Fiction and Truth” no less than "Poetry and Truth,” 
and erdichten generally means to make up, to invent. In the present work 
erdichtet has generally been rendered as invented; but this is a good place 
to insist that this translation loses some essential overtones: the emphatic 
contrast with reality-in-itself is intended by Nietzsche, but he also means 
to stress the quasi-poetic function of the imagination. 




294 


THE WILL TO POWER 


becoming-other, presupposes an author and someone upon whom 
“change” is effected. 


547 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Psychological history of the concept “subject.” The body, the 
thing, the “whole” construed by the eye, awaken the distinction 
between a deed and a doer; the doer, the cause of the deed, con- 
ceived ever more subtly, finally left behind the “subject.” 

548 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Our bad habit of taking a mnemonic, an abbreviative formula, 
to be an entity, finally as a cause, e.g., to say of lightning “it 
flashes.” Or the little word “I.” To make a kind of perspective 
in seeing the cause of seeing: that was what happened in the 
invention of the “subject,” the “I”! 

549 ( 1885 ) 

“Subject,” “object,” “attribute” — these distinctions are fabri- 
cated and are now imposed as a schematism upon all the appar- 
ent facts. The fundamental false observation is that I believe it 
is I who do something, suffer something, “have” something, 
“have” a quality. 


550 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

In every judgment there resides the entire, full, profound 
belief in subject and attribute, or in cause and effect (that is, 
as the assertion that every effect is an activity and that every 
activity presupposes an agent); and this latter belief is only 
a special case of the former, so there remains as the fundamental 
belief the belief that there are subjects, that everything that hap- 
pens is related attributively to some subject . 19 

I notice something and seek a reason for it; this means 
originally: I seek an intention in it, and above all someone who 
has intentions, a subject, a doer: every event a deed — formerly 

"The first paragraph represents a collage from two similar versions 
and was put together by the German editors. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


295 


one saw intentions in all events, this is our oldest habit. Do ani- 
mals also possess it? As living beings, must they not also rely 
on interpretations based on themselves ?— 

The question “why?” is always a question after the causa 
finalis, 20 after the “what for?” We have no “sense for the 
causa efficiens ”: 21 here Hume was right; habit (but not only 
that of the individual!) makes us expect that a certain often- 
observed occurrence will follow another: nothing more! That 
which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality 
is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another 
but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events 
caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as 
the only effective force — in will, in intention — it is belief that 
every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is 
belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject 
and attribute not a great stupidity? 

Question: is intention the cause of an event? Or is that also 
illusion? 

Is it not the event itself? 

551 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Critique of the concept "cause .’’ 22 — We have absolutely 
no experience of a cause; psychologically considered, we derive 
the entire concept from the subjective conviction that we are 
causes, namely, that the arm moves — But that is an error. We 
separate ourselves, the doers, from the deed, and we make use of 
this pattern everywhere — we seek a doer for every event. What 
is it we have done? We have misunderstood the feeling of 
strength, tension, resistance, a muscular feeling that is already 
the beginning of the act, as the cause, or we have taken the 
will to do this or that for a cause because the action follows 
upon it — cause, i.e., 

There is no such thing as “cause”; some cases in which 


* Final cause or purpose. 

11 Efficient cause. 

" Before the beginning of this section Nietzsche later added: “I require 
the starting point of ‘will to power’ as the origin of motion. Hence motion 
may not be conditioned from the outside — not caused 1 require begin- 

nings and centers of motion from which the will spreads — ” (1911, p. 507). 



296 


THE WILL TO POWER 


it seemed to be given us, and in which we have projected it out 
of ourselves in order to understand an event, have been shown 
to be self-deceptions. Our “understanding of an event” has con- 
sisted in our inventing a subject which was made responsible 
for something that happens and for how it happens. We have 
combined our feeling of will, our feeling of “freedom,” our feel- 
ing of responsibility and our intention to perform an act, into 
the concept “cause": causa efficiens and causa finalis are funda- 
mentally one. 

We believed that an effect was explained when a condition 
was detected in which the effect was already inherent. In fact, 
we invent all causes after the schema of the effect: the latter 
is known to us — Conversely, we are not in a position to predict 
of any thing what it will “effect.” The thing, the subject, will, 
intention — all inherent in the conception “cause.” We search for 
things in order to explain why something has changed. Even 
the atom is this kind of super-added “thing” and “primitive sub- 
ject” — 

At length we grasp that things— consequently atoms, too — 
effect nothing: because they do not exist at all — that the concept 
of causality is completely useless. — A necessary sequence of 
states does not imply a causal relationship between them ( — that 
would mean making their effective capacity leap from 1 to 2, 
to 3, to 4, to 5). There are neither causes nor effects. Linguisti- 
cally we do not know how to rid ourselves of them. But that 
does not matter. If I think of the muscle apart from its “effects,” 
I negate it — 

In summa : an event is neither effected nor does it effect. 
Causa is a capacity to produce effects that has been super-added 
to the events — 

Interpretation by causality a deception — A “thing” is the 
sum of its effects, synthetically united by a concept, an image. In 
fact, science has emptied the concept causality of its content and 
retained it as a formula of an equation, in which it has become 
at bottom a matter of indifference on which side cause is placed 
and on which side effect. It is asserted that in two complex states 
(constellations of force) the quanta of force remain constant. 

The calculability of an event does not reside in the fact 
that a rule is adhered to, or that a necessity is obeyed, or that a 
law of causality has been projected by us into every event: it 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 297 

resides in the recurrence of “identical cases.” 

There is no such thing as a sense of causality, as Kant thinks. 
One is surprised, one is disturbed, one desires something familiar 
to hold on to — As soon as we are shown something old in the 
new, we are calmed. The supposed instinct for causality is only 
fear of the unfamiliar and the attempt to discover something 
familiar in it — a search, not for causes, but for the familiar. 

552 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Against determinism and teleology . — From the fact that 
something ensues regularly and ensues calculably, it does not fol- 
low that it ensues necessarily. That a quantum of force deter- 
mines and conducts itself in every particular case in one way 
and manner does not make it into an “unfree will.” “Mechanical 
necessity” is not a fact: it is we who first interpreted it into 
events. We have interpreted the formulatable character of events 
as the consequence of a necessity that rules over events. But from 
the fact that I do a certain thing, it by no means follows that 
I am compelled to do it. Compulsion in things certainly cannot 
be demonstrated: the rule proves only that one and the same event 
is not another event as well. Only because we have introduced 
subjects, “doers,” into things does it appear that all events are 
the consequences of compulsion exerted upon subjects — exerted 
by whom? again by a “doer.” Cause and effect — a dangerous con- 
cept so long as one thinks of something that causes and some- 
thing upon which an effect is produced. 

a. Necessity is not a fact but an interpretation. 

* 

b. When one has grasped that the “subject” is not something 
that creates effects, but only a fiction, much follows. 

It is only after the model of the subject that we have invented 
the reality of things and projected them into the medley of sensa- 
tions. If we no longer believe in the effective subject, then belief 
also disappears in effective things, in reciprocation, cause and 
effect between those phenomena that we call things. 

There also disappears, of course, the: world of effective atoms: 
the assumption of which always depended on the supposition that 
one needed subjects. 



298 


THE WILL TO POWER 


At last, the “thing-in-itself” also disappears, because this 
is fundamentally the conception of a “subject-in-itself.” But we 
have grasped that the subject is a fiction. The antithesis “thing- 
in-itself” and “appearance” is untenable; with that, however, the 
concept “appearance” also disappears. 

* 

c. If we give up the effective subject, we also give up the 
object upon which effects are produced. Duration, identity with 
itself, being are inherent neither in that which is called subject 
nor in that which is called object: they are complexes of events 
apparently durable in comparison with other complexes— e.g., 
through the difference in tempo of the event (rest— motion, firm 
— loose : opposites that do not exist in themselves and that actually 
express only variations in degree that from a certain perspective 
appear to be opposites. There are no opposites : 23 only from those 
of logic do we derive the concept of opposites — and falsely transfer 
it to things), 

d. If we give up the concept “subject” and “object,” then 
also the concept “substance” — and as a consequence also the 
various modifications of it, e.g., “matter,” “spirit,” and other 
hypothetical entities, “the eternity and immutability of matter,” 
etc. We have got rid of materiality. 

* 

From the standpoint Of morality, the world is false. But to 
the extent that morality itself is a part of this world, morality 
is false. 

Will to truth is a making firm, a making true and durable, 
an abolition of the false character of things, a reinterpretation 
of it into beings, “Truth” is therefore not something there, that 
might be found or discovered — but something that must be cre- 
ated and that gives a name to a process, or rather to a will to 
overcome that has in itself no end— introducing truth, as a 
processus in infinitum, ah active determining — hot a becoming- 
conscious of something that is in itself firm and determined. It 
is a word for the “will to power.” 

Life is founded upon the premise of a belief in enduring 
and regularly recurring things; the more powerful life is, the 
wider must be the knowable world to which we, as it were, attrib- 


” Cf. Beyond, section 2. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 299 

ute being. Logicizing, rationalizing, systematizing as expedients 
of life. 

Man projects his drive to truth, his “goal” in a certain 
sense, outside himself as a world that has being, as a metaphysical 
world, as a “thing-in-itself,” as a world already in existence. His 
needs as creator invent the world upon which he works, anticipate 
it; this anticipation (this “belief” in truth) is his support. 

* 

All events, all motion, all becoming, as a determination of 
degrees and relations of force, as a struggle — 

* 

As soon as we imagine sotiieone who is responsible for our 
being thus and thus, etc. (God, nature), and therefore attribute 
to him the intention that we should exist and be happy or 
wretched, we corrupt for ourselves the innocence of becoming. 2 * 
We then have someone who wants to achieve something through 
us and with us. 

* 

The ‘“welfare of the individual” is just as imaginary as the 
“welfare of the species”: the former is not sacrificed to the latter, 
species viewed from a distance is just as transient as the individual. 
“Preservation of the species” is only a consequence of the growth 
of the species, i.e., the* overcoming of the species on the road to a 
stronger type. 


* 

[Theses . — ] 25 That the apparent “purposiveness” (“that pur- 
posiveness which endlessly surpasses all the arts of man”) is merely 
the consequence of the will to power manifest in all events; that 
becoming stronger involves an ordering process which looks like a 
sketchy purposiveness; that apparent ends are not intentional but, 
as soon as dominion is established over a lesser power and thfe latter 
operates as a function of the greater power, an order of rank, of 


" Unschuld des Werdens — used as a title for a popular German two- 
volume edition of selections from Nietzsche's notes not included in The 
Will to Power. 

“The word I have placed in brackets was supplied by the German 
editors. 



300 


THE WILL TO POWER 


organization is bound to produce the appearance of an order of 
means and ends. 

Against apparent “ necessity 

— this is only an expression for the fact that a force is not 
also something else. 

Against apparent “purposiveness" : 

— the latter only an expression for an order of spheres of 
power and their interplay. 


9, Thing-in-Itself and Appearance 

553 ( 1886 - 1887 ) 

The sore spot of Kant’s critical philosophy has gradually 
become visible even to dull eyes: Kant no longer has a right to his 
distinction “appearance” and “thing-in-itself” — he had deprived 
himself of the right to go on distinguishing in this old familiar way, 
in so far as he rejected as impermissible making inferences fiom 
phenomena to a cause of phenomena — in accordance with his con- 
ception of causality and its purely intra-phenomenal validity — 
which conception, on the other hand, already anticipates this dis- 
tinction, as if the “thing-in-itself” were not only inferred but given. 

554 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Causalism ™ — It is obvious that things-in-themselves cannot 
be related to one another as cause and effect, nor can appearance 
be so related to appearance; from which it follows that in a phi- 
losophy that believes in things-in-themselves and appearances the 

concept “cause and effect” cannot be applied. Kant’s mistakes 

In fact, the concept “cause and effect” derives, psychologically 
speaking, only from a mode of thought that believes that always 
and everywhere will operates upon will — that believes only in liv- 
ing things and fundamentally only in "souls” (and not in things). 
Within the mechanistic view of the world (which is logic and its 
application to space and time), that concept is reduced to the 
formulas of mathematics — with which, as one must emphasize 


” Title omitted in all printed versions. 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


301 


again and again, nothing is ever comprehended, but rather desig- 
nated and distorted . 27 


555 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Against the scientific prejudice. 28 - — The biggest fable of all is 
the fable of knowledge. One would like to know what things-in- 
themselves are; but behold, there are no things-in-themselves! But 
even supposing there were an in-itself, an unconditioned thing, it 
would for that very reason be unknowable! Something uncondi- 
tioned cannot be known; otherwise it would not be unconditioned! 
Coming to know, however, is always “placing oneself in a condi- 
tional relation to something” one who seeks to know the un- 

conditioned desires that it should not concern him, and that this 
same something should be of no concern to anyone. This involves 
a contradiction, first, between wanting to know and the desire that 
it not concern us (but why know at all, then?) and; secondly, be- 
cause something that is of no concern to anyone is not at all, and 
thus cannot be known at all.— 

Coming to know means “to place oneself in a conditional re- 
lation to something”; to feel oneself conditioned by something and 
oneself to condition it — it is therefore under all circumstances estab- 
lishing, denoting, and making-conscious of conditions (not forth- 
coming, entities, things, what is “in-itself’). 

556 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

A “thing-in-itself” just as perverse as a “sense-in-itself,” a 
“meaning-in-itself.” There are no “facts-in-themselves,” for a sense 
must always be projected into them before there can be “facts.” 
The question “what is that?” is an imposition of meaning from 
some other viewpoint. “Essence,” the “essential nature,” is some- 
thing perspective and already presupposes a multiplicity. At the 
bottom of it there always lies “what is that for me?” (for us, for 
all that lives, etc.) 

A thing would be defined once all creatures had asked “what 
is that?” and had answered their question. Supposing one single 

” Bezeichnet, verzeichnet: the last word could also mean “registered," 
but in this context certainly doesn’t. 

“Title omitted in all previous versions. 



302 


THE WILL TO POWER 


creature, with its own relationships and perspectives for all things, 
were missing, then the thing would not yet be “defined.” 

In short: the essence of a thing is only an opinion about the 
“thing.” Or rather: “it is considered” is the real “it is,” the sole 
“this is.” 

One may not ask: “who then interprets?” for the interpreta- 
tion itself is a form of the will to power, exists (but not as a “being” 
but as a process, a becoming) as an affect. 

The origin of “things” is wholly the work of that which 
imagines, thinks, wills, feels. The concept “thing” itself just as 
much as ail its qualities. — Even “the subject” is such a created 
entity, a “thing” like all others: a simplification with the object 
of defining the force which posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from 
all individual positing, inventing, thinking as such. Thus a capacity 
as distinct from all that is individual — fundamentally, action col- 
lectively considered with respect to all anticipated actions (action 
and the probability of similar actions). 

557 ( 1885-1886 ) 

The properties of a thing are effects on other “things”: 
if one removes other “things,” then a thing has no properties, 
i.e., there is no thing without other things, 
i.e., there is no “thing-in-itself.” 

558 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The “thing-in-itself” nonsensical. If I remove all the relation- 
ships, all the “properties,” all the “activities” of a thing, the thing 
does not remain over; because thingness has only been invented 
by us owing to the requirements of logic, thus with the aim of 
defining, communication (to bind together the multiplicity of 
relationships, properties, activities). 

559 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888) 

“Things that have a constitution in themselves” — a dogmatic 
idea with which one must break absolutely. 

560 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

That things possess a constitution in themselves quite apart 



303 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

from interpretation and subjectivity, is a quite idle hypothesis: 
it presupposes that interpretation and subjectivity are not essential, 
that a thing freed from all relationships would still be a thing. 

Conversely, the apparent objective character of things: could 
it not be merely a difference of degree within the subjective? — that 
perhaps that which changes slowly presents itself to us as “object- 
ively” enduring, being, “in-itself” — that the objective is only a 
false concept of a genus and an antithesis within the subjective? 

561 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Suppose all unity were unity only as an organization? But 
the “thing” in which we believe was only invented as a foundation 
for the various attributes. If the thing “effects,” that means: we 
conceive all the other properties which are present and momentarily 
latent, as the cause of the emergence of one single property; i.e., we 
take the sum of its properties— “x ” — as cause of the property “x”: 
which is utterly stupid and mad! 

All unity is unity only as organization and co-operation— just 
as a human community is a unity— as opposed to an atomistic 
anarchy, as a pattern of domination that signifies a unity but is not 
a unity. 


562 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

“In the development of thought a point had to be reached at 
which one realized that what one called the properties of things 
were sensations of the feeling subject: at this point the properties 
ceased to belong to the thing.” The “thing-in-itself” remained. 
The distinction between the thing-in-itself and the thing-for-us is 
based on the older, naive form of perception which granted energy 
to things; but analysis revealed that even force was only projected 
into them, and likewise — substance. “The thing affects a subject”? 
Root of the idea of substance in language, not in beings outside us! 
The thing-in-itself is no problem at all! 

Beings will have to be thought of as sensations that are no 
longer based on something devoid of sensation. 

In motion, no new content is given to sensation. That which 
is, cannot contain motion: therefore it is a form of being. 

N.B. The explanation of an event can be sought firstly: 
through mental images of the event that precede it (aims); 



304 


THE WILL TO POWER 


secondly: through mental images that succeed it (the 
mathematical-physical explanation) . 

One should not confuse the two. Thus: the physical explana- 
tion, which is a symbolization of the world by means of sensation 
and thought, can in itself never account for the origin of sensation 
and thought; rather physics must construe the world of feeling 
consistently as lacking feeling and aim — right up to the highest 
human being. And teleology is only a history of purposes and 
never physical! 


563 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Our “knowing” limits itself to establishing quantities; but 
we cannot help feeling these differences in quantity as qualities. 
Quality is a perspective truth for us; not an “in-itself.” 

Our senses have a definite quantum as a mean within which 
they function; i.e., we sense bigness and smallness in relation to 
the conditions of our existence. If We sharpened or blunted our 
senses tenfold, we should perish; i.e., with regard to making possible 
our existence we sense even relations between magnitudes as 
qualities. 


564 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Might all quantities not be signs of qualities? A greater 
power implies a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a dif- 
ferent perspective; growth itself is a desire to be more; the desire 
for an increase in quantum grows from a quale; 26 in a purely 
quantitative world everything would be dead, stiff, motionless. — 
The reduction of all qualities to quantities is nonsense: what 
appears is that the one accompanies the other, an analogy — 

565 (Fall 1886) 

Qualities are insurmountable barriers for us; we cannot help 
feeling that mere quantitative differences are something funda- 
mentally distinct from quantity, namely that they are qualities 
which can no longer be reduced to one another. But everything 
for which the word “knowledge” makes any sense refers to the 
domain of reckoning. Weighing, measuring, to the domain of 


" How constituted? or of what quality? 



305 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

quantity; while, on the other hand, all our sensations of value (i.e., 
simply our sensations) adhere precisely to qualities, i.e., to our 
perspective “truths” which belong to us alone and can by no 
means be “known”! It is obvious that every creature different from 
us senses different qualities and consequently lives in a different 
world from that in which we live. Qualities are an idiosyncrasy 
peculiar to man; to demand that our human interpretations and 
values should be universal and perhaps constitutive values is one 
of the hereditary madnesses of human pride. 

566 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The “real world,” however one has hitherto conceived it — 
it has always been the apparent world once again. 90 

567 (March-June 1888 ) 

The apparent world, i.e., a world viewed according to values; 
ordered, selected according to values, i.e., in this case according to 
the viewpoint of utility in regard to the preservation and enhance- 
ment of the power of a certain species of animal. 

The perspective therefore decides the character of the “appear- 
ance”! As if a world would still remain over after one deducted 
the perspective! By doing that one would deduct relativity! 

Every center of force adopts a perspective toward the entire 
remainder, i.e., its own particular valuation, mode of action, and 
mode of resistance. The “apparent world,” therefore, is reduced 
to a specific mode of action on the worlds emanating from a center. 

Now there is no other mode of action whatever; and the 
“world” is only a word for the totality of these actions. Reality 
consists precisely in this particular action and reaction of every 
individual part toward the whole — 

No shadow of a right remains to speak here of appearance — 

The specific mode of reacting is the only mode of reacting; 
we do not know how many and what kinds of other modes there 
are. 

But there is no “other,” no “true,” no essential being — for 
this would be the expression of a world without action and re- 
action — 

"This section and those immediately following should be compared 
with Twilight, Chapters III and IV ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 479 ff). 




306 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The antithesis of the apparent world and the true world is 
reduced to the antithesis “world” and “nothing.” — 

568 ( March-June 1888) 

Critique of the concept "true and apparent world ." — Of 
these, the first is a mere fiction, constructed of fictitious entities. 

“Appearance” itself belongs to reality: it is a form of its being; 
i.e,, in a world where there is no being, a certain calculable world 
of identical cases must first be created through appearance: a 
tempo at which observation and comparison are possible, etc. 

Appearance is an arranged and simplified world, at which our 
practical instincts have been at work; it is perfectly true for us; 
that is to say, we live, we are able to live in it: proof of its truth for 
us — 

the world, apart from our condition of living in it, the world 
that we have not reduced to our being, our logic and psychological 
prejudices, does not exist as a world “in-itself”; it is essentially a 
world of relationships; under certain conditions it has a differing 
aspect from every point; its being is essentially different from every 
point; it presses upon every point, every point resists it — and the 
sum® 1 of these is in every case quite incongruent; 

The measure of power determines what being possesses the 
other measure of power; in what form, force, constraint it acts or 
resists. 

Our particular case is interesting enough: we have produced 
a conception in order to be able to live in a world, in order to per- 
ceive just enough to endure it — 

569 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Our psychological perspective is determined by the following: 

1. that communication is necessary, and that for there to be 
communication something has to be firm, simplified, capable of 
precision (above all in the [so-called]® 2 identical case). For it 
to be communicable, however, it must be experienced as adapted, 
as “recognizable.” The material of the senses adapted by the 
understanding, reduced to rough outlines, made similar, sub- 

” The reading of this word is doubtful. 

“The word I have placed in brackets was supplied by the German 
editors. 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 307 

sumed under related matters. Thus the fuzziness and chaos of 
sense impressions are, as it were, logicized; 

2. the world of “phenomena” is the adapted world which we 
feel to be real. The “reality” lies in the continual recurrence of 
identical, familiar, related things in their logicized character, in the 
belief that here we are able to reckon and calculate; 

3. the antithesis of this phenomenal world is not “the true 
world,” but the formless unformulable world of the chaos of sen- 
sations — another kind of phenomenal world, a kind “unknowable” 
for us; 

4. questions, what things “in-themselves” may be like, apart 
from our sense receptivity and the activity of our understanding, 
must be rebutted with the question; how could we know that 
things exist? “Thingness” was first created by us. The question is 
whether there could not be many other ways of creating such an 
apparent world — and whether this creating, logicizing, adapting, 
falsifying is not itself the best-guaranteed reality; in short, whether 
that which “posits things” is not the sole reality; and whether the 
“effect of the external world upon us” is not also only the result 
of such active subjects — The other “entities” act upon us; our 
adapted apparent world is an adaptation and overpowering of their 
actions; a kind of defensive measure. The subject alone is demon- 
strable; hypothesis that only subjects exist — that “object” is only 
a kind of effect produced by a subject upon a subject — a modus of 
the subject. 


10. Metaphysical Need 

570 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

If one is a philosopher as men have always been philosophers, 
one cannot see what has been and becomes — one sees only what 
is. But since nothing is, all that was left to the philosopher as hit 
“world” was the imaginary. 

571 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

To assert the existence as a whole of things of which we know 
nothing whatever, precisely because there is an advantage in not 
being able to know anything of them, was a piece of naivete of 
Kant, resulting from needs, mainly moral-metaphysical. 



308 


THE WILL TO POWER 


572 ( 1883-1888 ) 

An artist cannot endure reality, he looks away from it, back: 
he seriously believes that the value of a thing resides in that 
shadowy residue one derives from colors, form, sound, ideas', he 
believes that the more subtilized, attenuated, transient a thing or 
a man is, the more valuable he becomes; the less real, the more 
valuable. This is Platonism, which, however, involved yet another 
bold reversal: Plato measured the degree of reality by the degree 
of value and said: The more “Idea,” the more being. He reversed 
the concept “reality” and said: “What you take for real is an error, 
and the nearer we approach the ‘Idea,’ the nearer we approach 
‘truth.’ ” — Is this understood? It was the greatest of rebaptisms; 
and because it has been adopted by Christianity we do not recognize 
how astonishing it is. Fundamentally, Plato, as the artist he was, 
preferred appearance to being! lie and invention to truth! the unreal 
to the actual! But he was so convinced of the value of appearance 
that he gave it the attributes “being,” “causality” and' “goodness,” 
and “truth,” in short everything men value. 

The concept of value itself considered as a cause: first insight. 

The ideal granted all honorific attributes: second insight. 

573 ( Jan.-Fall 1888) 

The idea of the “true world” or of “God” as absolutely im- 
material, spiritual, good, is an emergency measure necessary while 
the opposite instincts are still all-powerful — 

The degree of moderation and humanity attained is exactly 
reflected in the humanization of the gods: the Greeks of the 
strongest epoch, who were not afraid of themselves but rejoiced 
in themselves, brought their gods close to all their own affects — . 

The spiritualization of the idea of God is therefore far from 
being a sign of progress : one is heartily conscious of this when 
considering Goethe — in his case, the vaporization of God into 
virtue and spirit is felt as being on a coarser level — 

574 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Senselessness of all metaphysics as the derivation of the con- 
ditioned from the unconditioned. 



309 


BOOK three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

It is in the nature of thinking that it thinks of and invents the 
unconditioned as an adjunct to the conditioned; just as it thought 
of and invented the “ego” as an adjunct to the multiplicity of its 
processes; it measures the world according to magnitudes posited by 
itself — such fundamental fictions as “the unconditional,” “ends and 
means,” “things,” “substances,” logical laws, numbers and forms. 

There would be nothing that could be called knowledge if 
thought did not first re-form the world in this way into “things,” 
into what is self-identical. Only because there is thought is there 
untruth. 

Thought cannot be derived, any more than sensations can be; 
but that does not mean that its primordiality or “being-in-itself” has 
been proved! all that is established is that we cannot get beyond it, 
because we have nothing but thought and sensation. 

575 ( 1885-1886 ) 

“Knowledge” is a referring back: in its essence a regressus in 
infinitum. That which comes to a standstill (at a supposed causa 
prima, at something unconditioned, etc.) is laziness, weariness 

576 (1883-1888) 

Psychology of metaphysics: the influence of timidity. 

That which has been feared the most, the cause of the most 
powerful suffering (lust to rule, sex, etc.), 83 has been treated by 
men with the greatest amount of hostility and eliminated from the 
“true” world. Thus they have eliminated the affects one by one 
— posited God as the antithesis of evil, that is, placed reality in 
the negation of the desires and affects (i.e., in nothingness ). 

In the same way, they have hated the irrational, the arbitrary, 
the accidental (as the causes of immeasurable physical suffering). 
As a consequence, they negated this element in being-in-itself and 
conceived it as absolute “rationality” and “purposiveness.” 

In the same way, they have feared change, transitoriness: 
this expresses a straitened soul, full of mistrust and evil experiences 
(the case of Spinoza: an opposite kind of man would account 
change a stimulus). 

A creature overloaded and playing with force would call 

13 Cf. the chapter “On the Three Evils” in Zaratliustra, III ( Portable 
Nietzsche, p. 298 if ). 




310 


THE W1LX. TO POWER 


precisely the affects, irrationality, and change good in a eudaemo- 
nistic sense, together with their consequences: danger, contrast, 
perishing, etc. 


577 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Against the value of that which remains eternally the same 
(vide Spinoza’s naivete; Descartes’ also), the values of the briefest 
and most transient, the seductive flash of gold on the belly of the 
serpent v/fo 34 — 


578 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Moral values even in theory of knowledge: 
trust in reason — why not mistrust? 
the “true world” is supposed to be the good world — why? 
appearance, change, contradiction, struggle devalued as im- 
moral; desire for a world in which these things are missing; 
the transcendental world invented, in order that a place re- 
mains for “moral freedom” (in Kant); 
dialectic a way to virtue (in Plato and Socrates: evidently 
because Sophistry counted as the way to immorality); 
time and space ideal: consequently “unity” in the essence of 
things; consequently no “sin,” no evil, no imperfection 
— a justification of God; 

Epicurus denied the possibility of knowledge, in order to 
retain moral (or hedonistic) values as the highest values. 
Augustine, later Pascal (“corrupted reason”), did the 
same for the benefit of Christian values; 

Descartes’ contempt for everything that changes; also that 
of Spinoza. 


579 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Psychology of metaphysics . — This world is apparent: con- 
sequently there is a true world; — this world is conditional: con- 
sequently there is an unconditioned world; — this world is full of 
contradiction: consequently there is a world free of contradiction; — 
this world is a world of becoming: consequently there is a world of 


** Life. 


311 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

being: — all false conclusions (blind trust in reason: if A exists, 
then the opposite concept B must also exist). It is suffering that 
inspires these conclusions: fundamentally they are desires that such 
a world should exist; in the same way, to imagine another, more 
valuable world is an expression of hatred for a world that makes 
one suffer: the ressentiment of metaphysicians against actuality is 
here creative. 

Second series of questions: for what is there suffering? — and 
from this a conclusion is derived concerning the relation of the 
true world to our apparent, changing, suffering, contradictory 
world: (1) Suffering as a consequence of error: how is error 
possible? (2) Suffering as a consequence of guilt: how is guilt 
possible? ( — experiences derived from nature or society univers- 
alized and projected to the sphere of “in-itself”). If, however, the 
conditioned world is causally conditioned by the unconditioned 
world, then freedom to err and incur guilt must also be conditioned 
by it: and again one asks, what for ? — The world of appearance, 
becoming, contradiction, suffering, is therefore willed: what fori 

The error in these conclusions: two opposite concepts are 
constructed — because one of them corresponds to a reality, the 
other “must” also correspond to a reality. “Whence should one 
derive this opposite concept if this were not so?" — Reason is thus 
a source of revelation concerning being-in-itself. 

But the origin of these antitheses need not necessarily go back 
to a supernatural source of reason: it is sufficient to oppose to it 
the real genesis of the concepts. This derives from the practical 
sphere, the sphere of utility; hence the strength of the faith it 
inspires (one would perish if one did not reason according to this 
mode of reason; but this is no “proof” of what it asserts). 

The preoccupation with suffering on the part of metaphysi- 
cians — is quite naive. “Eternal bliss”: psychological nonsense. 
Brave and creative men never consider pleasure and pain as 
ultimate values — they are epiphenomena: one must desire both if 
one is to achieve anything — That they see the problem of pleasure 
and pain in the foreground reveals something weary and sick in 
metaphysicians and religious people. Even morality is so important 
to them only because they see in it an essential condition for the 
abolition of suffering. 

In the same way, their preoccupation with appearance and 
error: cause of suffering, superstition that happiness attends truth 
(confusion: happiness in “certainty,” in “faith”). 



312 


THE WILL TO POWER 


580 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

To what extent the basic epistemological positions (material- 
ism, idealism) are consequences of evaluations: the source of the 
supreme feelings of pleasure (“feelings of value”) as decisive also 
for the problem of reality! 

— The measure of positive knowledge is quite subsidiary or a 
matter of indifference: as witness the development of India. 

The Buddhistic negation of reality in general (appearance = 
suffering) is perfectly consistent: undemonstrability, inaccessibility, 
lack of categories not only for a ‘“world-in-itself,” but an insight 
into the erroneous procedures by means of which this whole concept 
is arrived at. “Absolute reality,” “being-in-itself” a contradiction. 
In a world of becoming, “reality” is always only a simplification 
for practical ends, or a deception through the coarseness of organs, 
or a variation in the tempo of becoming. 

Logical world-denial and nihilation 35 follow from the fact 
that we have to oppose non-being with being and that the concept 
“becoming” is denied. (“Something” becomes.) 

581 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Being and becoming . — “Reason,” evolved on a sensualistic 
basis, on the prejudices of the senses, i.e., in the belief in the truth 
of the judgments of the senses. 

“Being” as universalization of the concept “life” (breathing), 
“having a soul,” “willing, effecting,” “becoming.” 

The antithesis is: “not to have a soul,” “not to become,” “not 
to will.” Therefore: “being” is not the antithesis of non-being, 
appearance, nor even of the dead (for only something that can live 
can be dead). 

The “soul,” the “ego” posited as primeval fact, and introduced 
everywhere where there is any becoming. 

582 ( 1885-1887 ) 

Being — we have no idea of it apart from the idea of “living.” — 
How can anything dead “be”? 

" Nihilisierung. 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


313 


583 ( March-June 1888 ) 

(A) 

I observe with astonishment that science has today resigned 
itself to the apparent world; a real world — whatever it may be 
like — we certainly have no organ for knowing it. 

At this point we may ask: by means of what organ of 
knowledge can we posit even this antithesis? — 

That a world accessible to our organs is also understood to 
be dependent upon these organs, that we understand a world as 
being subjectively conditioned, 88 is not to say that an objective 
world is at all possible. Who compels us to think that subjectivity 
is real, essential? 

The “in-itself” is even an absurd conception; a “constitution- 
irt-itself” is nonsense; we possess the concept “being,” “thing,” 
only as a relational concept — 

The worst thing is that with the old antithesis “apparent” 
and “true” the correlative value judgment “lacking in value” and 
“absolutely valuable” has developed. 

The apparent world is not counted as a “valuable” world; 
appearance is supposed to constitute an objection to supreme 
value. Only a “true” world can be valuable in itself — 

Prejudice of prejudices! Firstly, it would be possible that 
the true constitution of things was so hostile to the presuppositions 
of life, so opposed to them, that we needed appearance in order 
to be able to live — After all, this is the case in so many situa- 
tions; e.g., in marriage. 

Our empirical world would be determined by the instincts 
of self-preservation even as regards the limits of its knowledge: 
we would regard as true, good, valuable that which serves the 
preservation of the species— 

a. We possess no categories by which we can distinguish a 
true from an apparent world. (There might only be an apparent 
world, but not our apparent world.) 

b. Assuming the true world, it could still be a world less 
valuable for us; precisely the quantum of illusion might be of 
a higher rank on account of its value for our preservation. (Un- 
less appearance as such were grounds for condemnation?) 

s * The reading of “understand” and “conditioned” is uncertain. 



314 


THE WILL TO POWER 


c. That a correlation exists between degrees of value and 
degrees of reality (so that the supreme values also possess the 
supreme reality) is a metaphysical postulate proceeding from the 
presupposition that we know the order of rank of values; namely, 
that this order of rank is a moral order — Only with this pre- 
supposition is truth necessarily part of the definition of all the 
highest values. 


( B ) 

It is of cardinal importance that one should abolish the true 
world. It is the great inspirer of doubt and devaluator in respect 
of the world we are: it has been our most dangerous attempt yet 
to assassinate life. 

War on all presuppositions on the basis of which one has 
invented a true world. Among these is the presupposition that 
moral values are the supreme values. 

The supremacy of moral valuation would be refuted if it 
could be shown to be the consequence of an immoral valuation 
— as a special case of actual immorality — it would thus reduce 
itself to an appearance, and as appearance it would cease to have 
any right as such to condemn appearance. 

(C) 

The “will to truth” would then have to be investigated psy- 
chologically: it is not a moral force, but a form of the will to 
power. This would have to be proved by showing that it employs 
every immoral means: metaphysicians above all — . 

We are today faced with testing the assertion that moral 
values are the supreme values. Method in investigation is attained 
only when all moral prejudices have been overcome: — it repre- 
sents a victory over morality — 

584 {March-} une 1888 ) 

The aberration of philosophy is that, instead of seing in 
logic and the categories of reason means toward the adjustment 
of the world for utilitarian ends (basically, toward an expedient 
falsification), one believed one possessed in them the criterion 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


315 


of truth and reality. The “criterion of truth” was in fact merely 
the biological utility of such a system of systematic falsification; 
and since a species of animals knows of nothing more important 
than its own preservation, one might indeed be permitted to speak 
here of “truth.” The naivete was to take an anthropocentric 
idiosyncrasy as the measure of things, as the rule 37 for deter- 
mining “real” and “unreal”: in short, to make absolute some- 
thing conditioned. And behold, suddenly the world fell apart 
into a “true” world and an “apparent” world: and precisely the 
world that man’s reason had devised for him to live and settle 
in was discredited. Instead of employing the forms as a tool for 
making the world manageable and calculable, the madness 38 of 
philosophers divined that in these categories is presented the 
concept of that world to which the one in which man lives does 
not correspond — The means were misunderstood as measures 
of value, even as a condemnation of their real intention — 

The intention was to deceive oneself in a useful way; the 
means, the invention of formulas and signs by means of which 
one could reduce the confusing multiplicity to a purposive and 
manageable schema. 

But alas', now a moral category was brought into play: no 
creature wants to deceive itself, no creature may deceive — conse- 
quently there is only a will to truth. What is "truth”? 

The law of contradiction provided the schema: the true 
world, to which one seeks the way, cannot contradict itself, can- 
not change, cannot become, has no beginning and no end. 

This is the greatest error that has ever been committed, the 
essential fatality of error on earth: one believed one possessed a 
criterion of reality in the forms of reason — while in fact one 
possessed them in order to become master of reality, in order to 
misunderstand reality in a shrewd manner— 

And behold: now the world became false, and precisely on 
account of the properties that constitute its reality: change, be- 
coming, multiplicity, t opposition, contradiction, war. And then 
the entire fatality was there: 

1. How can one get free from the false, merely apparent 
world? ( — it was the real, the only one); 

” "Rule”: uncertain reading. 

38 “Madness”: very doubtful conjecture; in the original, two illegible 


words. 




316 


THE WILL TO POWER 


2. how can one become oneself as much as possible the 
antithesis of the character of the apparent world? (Concept of 
the perfect creature as an antithesis to the real creature; more 
clearly, as the contradiction of life — ) 

The whole tendency of values was toward slander of life; one 
created a confusion of idealist dogmatism and knowledge in gen- 
eral: so that the opposing party also was always attacking science. 

The road to science was in this way doubly blocked: once 
by belief in the “true” world, and again by the opponents of 
this belief. Natural science, psychology was (1) condemned with 
regard to its objects, (2) deprived of its innocence — 

In the actual world, in which everything is bound to and 
conditioned by everything else, to condemn and think away any- 
thing means to condemn and think away everything. The expres- 
sion “that should not be,” “that should not have been,” is farcical — 
If one thinks out the consequences, one would ruin the source 
of life if one wanted to abolish whatever was in some respect 
harmful or destructive. Physiology teaches us better! 

- — We see how morality (a) poisons the entire conception 
of the world, (b) cuts off the road to knowledge, to science, 
(c) disintegrates and undermines all actual instincts (in that it 
teaches that their roots are immoral). 

We see at work before us a dreadful tool of decadence that 
props itself up by the holiest names and attitudes. 

585 ( Spring-FaH 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

Tremendous self-examination: becoming conscious of oneself, 
not as individuals but as mankind. Let us reflect, let us think back; 
let us follow the highways and byways! 


(A) 

Man seeks “the truth”: a world that is not self-contradictory, 
not deceptive, does not change, a true world — a world in which 
one does not suffer; contradiction, deception, change — causes of 
suffering! He does not doubt that a world as it ought to be 
exists; he would like to seek out the road to it. (Indian critique: 
even the “ego” as apparent, as not real.) 

Whence does man here derive the concept reality ? — Why 



317 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

is it that he derives suffering from change, deception, contra- 
diction? and why not rather his happiness? — 

Contempt, hatred for all that perishes, changes, varies — 
whence comes this valuation of that Which remains constant? Ob- 
viously, the will to truth is here merely the desire for a world 
of the constant. 

The senses deceive, reason corrects the errors; consequently, 
one concluded, reason is the road to the constant; the least sensual 
ideas must be closest to the “true world.” — It is from the senses 
that most misfortunes come — they are deceivers, deluders, de- 
stroyers. — 

Happiness can be guaranteed only by being; change and 
happiness exclude one another. The highest desire therefore con- 
templates unity with what has being. This is the formula for: 
the road to the highest happiness, 

In summa: the world as it ought to be exists; this world, in 
which we live, is an error — -this world of ours ought not to exist. 

Belief in what has being is only a consequence: the real 
primum mobile is disbelief in becoming, mistrust of becoming, 
the low valuation of all that becomes — 

What kind of man reflects in this way? An unproductive, 
suffering kind, a kind weary of life. If we imagine the opposite 
kind of man, he would not need to believe in what has being; 
more, he would despise it as dead, tedious, indifferent — 

The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, 
is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create d 
world as it ought to be. They posit it as already available, they 
seek ways and means of reaching it. “Will to truth” — as the 
impotence of the will to create. 


To know that something is thus and thus: 
To act so that something becomes thus 
and thus: 


' Antagonism in the 
■ degree of power in 
different natures. 


The fiction of a world that corresponds to our desires: 
psychological trick and interpretation with the aim of associating 
everything we honor and find pleasant with this true world. 

“Will to truth” at this stage is essentially an art of interpreta- 
tion: which at least requires the power to interpret. 

This same species of man, grown one stage poorer, no longer 
possessing the strength to interpret, to create fictions, produces 



318 


THE WILL TO POWER 


nihilists. A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is 
that it ought not to be. and of the world as it ought to be that 
it does not exist . 39 According to this view, our existence (action, 
suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of “in 
vain” is the nihilists’ pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an 
inconsistency on the part of the nihilists. 

Whoever is incapable of laying his will into things, lacldng 
will and strength, at least lays some meaning into them, i.e., 
the faith that there is a will in them already . 40 

It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what 
extent one can do without meaning in things, to what extent one 
can endure to live in a meaningless world because one organizes 
a small portion of it oneself. 

The philosophical objective outlook can therefore be a sign 
that will and strength are small. For strength organizes what is 
close and closest; “men of knowledge,” who desire only to ascer- 
tain what is, ate those who cannot fix anything as it ought to be. 

Artists, an intermediary species: they at least fix an image 
of that which ought to be; they are productive, to the extent that 
they actually alter and transform; unlike men of knowledge, who 
leave everything as it is . 41 

Connection between philosophers and the pessimistic reli- 
gions: the same species of man ( — they ascribe the highest degree 
of reality to the most highly valued things*—). 

Connection between philosophers and moral men and their 
evaluations ( — the moral interpretation of the world as meaning: 
after the decline of the religious meaning — ). 

”This remarkable definition furnishes a splendid illustration of the in- 
adequacy of the present systematic arrangement of The Will to Power: it is 
separated by hundreds of pages from Book I, which is supposed to contain 
the sections on nihilism. But ever so many of Nietzsche’s sections are rele- 
vant to a great many topics, and he was plainly no system-thinker. Cf. my 
discussion of “Nietzsche’s Method” in Chapter 2 of my Nietzsche, especially 
section U. 

"This epigram was included with slight changes in Twilight, as aphor- 
ism 18 in Chapter I ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 469). 

"This formulation invites comparison with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ad- 
monition: “Philosophy must not in any way, however slight, interfere with 
the ordinary use of language; in the end, philosophy can only describe it, 
... It leaves everything as it is” ( Philosophical Investigations, New York: 
Macmillan, 1953, # 124). Also with the last of Karl Marx’s “Theses Against 
Feuerbach”: “The philosophers have merely interpreted the world differ- 
ently; but what matters is to change it.” 



BOOK three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


319 


Overcoming of philosophers through the destruction of the 
world of being: intermediary period of nihilism: before there is 
yet present the strength to reverse values and to deify becoming 
and the apparent world as the only world, and to call them good. 


(B ) 

Nihilism as a normal phenomenon can be a symptom of in- 
creasing strength or of increasing weakness : 

partly, because the strength to create, to will, has so increased 
that it no longer requires these total interpretations and intro- 
ductions of meaning (“present tasks,” the state, etc.); 

partly because even the creative strength to create meaning 
has declined and disappointment becomes the dominant condi- 
tion. The incapability of believing in a “meaning,” “unbelief.” 
What does science mean in regard to both possibilities? 

1. As a sign of strength and self-control, as being able to 
do without healing, comforting worlds of illusion; 

2. as undermining, dissecting, disappointing, weakening. 


(C) 

Belief in truth, the need to have a hold on something believed 
true, psychological redaction apart from all previous value feel- 
ings. Fear, laziness. 

The same way, unbelief: reduction. To what extent it 
acquires a new value if a true world does not exist ( — thus 
the value feelings that hitherto have been squandered on the 
world of being, are again set free). 

586 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The “True” and the “Apparent World” 

(A) 

The seductions that proceed from this concept are of three 
kinds: 

a. an unknown world: — we are adventurers, inquisitive — * 
that which is known seems to weary us ( — the danger of this 
concept lies in its insinuation that “this” world is known to us — ) ; 



320 


THE WILL TO POWER 


b. another world, where things are different; something in us 
calculates, our still submission, our silence, lose their value — 
perhaps everything will turn out well, we have not hoped in vain 
— the world where things are different, where we ourselves — 
who knows? — are different — 

c. a true world: this is the most amazing trick and attack 
that has ever been perpetrated upon us; so much has become 
encrusted in the word “true,” and involuntarily we make a 
present of all this to the “true woild”: the true world must also 
be a truthful world, one that does not deceive us, does not make 
fools of us: to believe in it is virtually to be compelled to believe 
in it ( — out of decency, as is the case among people worthy 
of confidence — ). 


* 

The concept “the unknown world” insinuates that this world 
is “known” to us (is tedious — ); 

the concept “another world” insinuates that the world could 
be otherwise— abolishes necessity and fate (useless to submit one- 
self — to adapt oneself — ); 

the concept “the true world” insinuates that this world is 
untruthful, deceptive, dishonest, inauthentic, inessential — and con- 
sequently also not a world adapted to our needs ( — inadvisable 
to adapt oneself to it; better to resist it). 

* 

We therefore elude “this” world in three ways: 

a. by our inquisitiveness — as if the more interesting part 
were elsewhere; 

b. by our submission — as though it were not necessary to 
submit oneself — as if this world were not a necessity of the ulti- 
mate rank: 

c. by our sympathy and respect — as if this world did not 
deserve them, were impure, were not honest with us — 

In summa: we have revolted in three ways: we have made 
an “x” into a critique of the “known world.” 


( B ) 


First step toward sobriety: to grasp to what extent we have 
been seduced — for things could be exactly the reverse; 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


321 


a. the unknown world could be a stupid and meaner form of 
existence — and “this” world might be rather enjoyable by com- 
parison; 

b. the other world, far from taking account of our desires 
which would find no fulfillment in it, could be among the mass 
of things that make this world possible for us: to get to know 
it might be a means of making us contented; 

c. the true world: but who is it really who tells us that the 
apparent world must be of less value than the true one? Does 
our instinct not contradict this judgment? Does man not eternally 
create a fictitious world for himself because he wants a better 
world than reality? Above all: how do we arrive at the idea that 
our world is not the true world? — it could be that the other 
world is the “apparent” one (in fact the Greeks thought of, e.g., a 
shadow kingdom, an apparent existence, beside true existence). 
And finally: what gives us the right to posit, as it were, degrees 
of reality? This is something different from an unknown world — 
it is already a wanting to know something of the unknown — 
The “other,” the “unknown” world — very good! But to say “true 
world” means “to know something of it” — That is the opposite 
of the assumption of an “x” world — 

In summa : the world “x” could be in every sense more tedious, 
less human, and less worthy than this world. 

It would be another thing to assert the existence of "x" 
worlds, i.e., of every possible world besides this one. But this 
has never been asserted — 


(C) 

Problem: why the notion of another world has always been 
unfavorable for, or critical of “this” world — what does this indi- 
cate? — 

For a people proud of itself, whose life is ascending, always 
thinks of another kind of being as a lower, less valuable kind 
of being; it regards the strange, the unknown world as its enemy, 
as its opposite; it feels no inquisitiveness, it totally rejects the 
strange — A people would never admit that another people was 
the “true people.” — 

It is symptomatic that such a distinction should be at all 
possible — that one takes this world for the “apparent” one and 
the other world as “true.” 



322 


THE WILL TO POWER 


The places of origin of the notion of “another world”: 
the philosopher, who invents a world of reason, where 
reason and the logical functions are adequate: this is 
the origin of the “true” world; 
the religious man, who invents a “divine world”: this is 
the origin of the “denaturalized, anti-natural” world; 
the moral man, who invents a “free world”: this is the 
origin of the “good, perfect, just, holy” world. 

What the three places of origin have in common: the psycho- 
logical blunder, the physiological confusions. 

By what attributes is the “other world,” as it actually appears 
in history, distinguished? By the stigmata of philosophical, reli- 
gious, moral prejudice. 

The “other world,” as illumined by these facts, as a synonym 
for nonbeing, nonliving, not wanting to live — 

General insight: it is the instinct of life-weariness, and not 
that of life, which has created the “other world.” 

Consequence: philosophy, religion, and morality are symp- 
toms of decadence . 42 


11. Biological Value of Knowledge 

587 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

It might seem as though I had evaded the question of “cer- 
tainty.” The opposite is true; but by inquiring after the criterion 
of certainty I tested the scales upon which men have weighed 
in general hitherto — and that the question of certainty itself is a 
dependent question, a question of the second rank. 


588 ( 1883 - 1886 ) 

The question of values is more fundamental than the ques- 
tion of certainty: the latter becomes serious only by presupposing 
that the value question has already been answered. 

“ In the MS an earlier version of Twilight, Chapter III, section 6, follows 
at this point. All of the sections dealing with the contrast of the “true" and 
the “apparent" world should be considered as background material for Twi- 
light, Chapters III and IV ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 479 ff and 485 ff); but 
these sections contain many interesting passages that did not find their way 
into the book. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


323 


Being and appearance, psychologically considered, yield no 
“being-in-itself,” no criterion of “reality,” but only for grades 
of appearance measured by the strength of the interest we show 
in an appearance. 

There is no struggle for existence between ideas and per- 
ceptions, but a struggle for dominion: the idea that is overcome 
is not annihilated, only driven back or subordinated. There is 
no annihilation in the sphere of spirit — 43 


589 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 


“Ends and means” 

“Cause and effect” 

“Subject and object” 

“Acting and suffering” 
“Thing-in-itself and appearance” 


as interpretations (not as facts) 
and to what extent perhaps nec- 
. essary interpretations? (as re- 
quired for “preservation”) — all 
in the sense of a will to power. 


590 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Our values are interpreted into things. 

Is there then any meaning in the in-itself? ! 

Is meaning not necessarily relative meaning and perspective? 
All meaning is will to power (all relative meaning resolves 
itself into it) . 


591 ( 1885 ) 

The desire for “solid facts” — epistemology: how much pes- 
simism there is in it! 


592 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

The antagonism between the “true world,” as revealed by 
pessimism, and a world possible for life — here one must test the 
rights of truth. It is necessary to measure the meaning of all these 
“ideal drives” against life to grasp what this antagonism really is: 
the struggle of sickly, despairing life that cleaves to a beyond, with 
healthier, more stupid and mendacious, richer, less degenerate life. 
Therefore it is not “truth” in struggle with life but one kind of life 

“ Es gibt im Geistigen keine Vernichtwig might have been written by 
Hegel — or by Freud. 




324 


THE WILL TO POWER 


in struggle with another. — But it wants to be the higher kind! — 
Here one must demonstrate the need for an order of rank — that 
the first problem is the order of rank of different kinds of life. 

593 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

To transform the belief “it is thus and thus” into the will “it 
shall become thus and thus.” 

12. Science 

594 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Science — this has been hitherto a way of putting an end to 
the complete confusion in which things exist, by hypotheses that 
“explain” everything — so it has come from the intellect’s dislike 
of chaos. — This same dislike seizes me when I consider myself: 
I should like to form an image of the inner world, too, by means 
of some schema, and thus triumph over intellectual confusion. 
Morality has been a simplification of this kind: it taught that men 
were known, familiar. — Now we have destroyed morality — we 
have again become completely obscure to ourselves! I know that 
I know nothing of myself. Physics proves to be a boon for the 
heart: science (as the way to knowledge) acquires a new charm 
after morality has been eliminated — and because it is here alone 
that we find consistency, we have to construct our life so as to 
preserve it. This yields a sort of practical reflection on the con- 
ditions of our existence as men of knowledge. 

595 ( 1884 ) 

Our presuppositions: no God: no purpose: finite force. Let 
us guard against thinking out and prescribing the mode of thought 
necessary to lesser men! ! 

596 ( 1886 - 1887 ) 

No “moral education” of the human race: but an enforced 
schooling in [scientific ] 44 errors is needed, because “truth” dis- 

“The word I have placed in brackets was added by the German editors. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


325 


gusts and makes one sick of life — unless man is already irrevocably 
launched upon his path and has taken his honest insight upon him- 
self with a tragic pride. 


597 ( 1886-1887 ) 

The presupposition of scientific work: belief in the unity and 
perpetuity of scientific work, so the individual may work at any 
part, however small, confident that his work will not be in vain. 

There is one great paralysis: to work in vain, to struggle in 
vain. 


* 

The accumulative epochs, in which force and means of power 
are discovered that the future will one day make use of; science 
an intermediary station, at which the more intermediary, more 
multifarious, more complicated natures find their most natural dis- 
charge and satisfaction — all those who should avoid action. 

598 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

A philosopher recuperates differently and with different 
means: he recuperates, e.g., with nihilism. Belief that there is no 
truth at all, the nihilistic belief, is a great relaxation for one who, 
as a warrior of knowledge, is ceaselessly fighting ugly truths. For 
truth is ugly. 46 


599 ( 1885-1886 ) 

The “meaninglessness of events”: belief in this is the conse- 
quence of an insight into the falsity of previous interpretations, a 
generalization of discouragement and weakness — not a necessary 
belief. 

The immodesty of man: to deny meaning where he sees none. 


“Another version, written a few months later, is printed in 1911, p. 
508: “For a warrior of knowledge, who is always fighting ugly truths, the 
belief that there is no truth at all is a great bath and relaxation. — Nihilism 
is our kind of leisure.” 

Cf. the chapter “On War and Warriors” in Zarathustra, I ( Portable 
Nietzsche, p. 158 ff). And note the deliberate antithesis, especially of the 
formulation in the text, to the romantic identification of truth and beauty. 




326 


THE WILL TO POWER 


600 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

No limit to the ways in which the world can be interpreted; 
every interpretation a symptom of growth or of decline. 

Inertia needs unity (monism); plurality of interpretations a 
sign of strength. Not to desire to deprive the world of its disturbing 
and enigmatic character! 


601 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Against peaceableness and the desire for reconciliation . 48 The 
attempt at monism belongs here. 

602 ( 1884 ) 

This perspective world, this world for the eye, tongue, and 
ear, is very false, even if compared for 47 a very much more subtle 
sense-apparatus. But its intelligibility, comprehensibility, practica- 
bility, and beauty begin to cease if we refine our senses; just as 
beauty ceases when we think about historical processes; the order 
of purpose is already an illusion. It suffices that the more super- 
ficially and coarsely it is conceived, the more valuable, definite, 
beautiful, and significant the world appears. The deeper one looks, 
the more our valuations disappear — meaninglessness approaches! 
We have created the world that possesses values! Knowing this, we 
know, too, that reverence for truth is already the consequence of 
an illusion — and that one should value more than truth the force 
that forms, simplifies, shapes, invents. 

“Everything is false! Everything is permitted!” 

Only with a certain obtuseness of vision, a will to simplicity, 
does the beautiful, the “valuable” appear: in itself, it is I know 
not what. 


44 This note helps to illuminate the chapter “On War and Warriors” in 
Zarathustra. 

41 Unless either “compared” or “for" represents a misreading of the MS, 
Nietzsche would seem to have slipped. 

The quotation comprising the next paragraph should be compared with 
“Nothing is true, everything is permitted,” in Genealogy III, section 24; see 
also my notes on that section. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


327 


603 (1885) 

That the destruction of ah illusion does not produce truth 
but only one more piece of ignorance, an extension of our “empty 
space,” an increase of our “desert” 48 — 

604 48 ( 1885-1886 ) 

“Interpretation,” the introduction of meaning — not “explana- 
tion” (in most cases a new interpretation over an old interpretation 
that has become incomprehensible, that is now itself only a sign). 
There are no facts, everything is in flux, incomprehensible, elusive; 
what is relatively most enduring is — our opinions. 

605 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The ascertaining of “truth” and “untruth,” the ascertaining 
of facts in general, is fundamentally different from creative posit- 
ing, from forming, shaping, overcoming, willing, such as is Of the 
essence of philosophy. To introduce a meaning — this task still re- 
mains to be done, assuming there is no meaning yet. Thus it is 
with sounds, but also with the fate of peoples: they are capable 
of the most different interpretations and direction toward different 
goals. 

On a yet higher level is to posit a goal and mold facts accord- 
ing to it; that is, active interpretation and not merely conceptual 
translation. 


606 (1885-1886) 

Ultimately, man finds in things nothing but what he himself 
has imported into them: the finding is called science, the importing 
— art, religion, love, pride. Even if this should be a piece of child- 
ishness, one should carry on with both and be well disposed toward 
both — some should find; others — we others! — should import! 


“The German editors made a complete sentence of this note by adding 
“We know” at the beginning. 

* At the beginning of this note Peter Gast placed the question, printed 
in all editions: “What alone can knowledge be?” 




328 


THE WILL TO POWER 


607 ( Spring-Fall 1886) 

Science: its two sides: 

in regard to the individual; 

in regard to the cultural complex (level) ; 

— valuations from one side or the other are mutually antagonistic. 

608 ( 1886-1887 ) 

The development of science resolves the “familiar” more 
and more into the unfamiliar: — it desires, however, the reverse, 
and proceeds from the instinct to trace the unfamiliar back to the 
familiar. 

In summa, science is preparing a sovereign ignorance, a feel- 
ing that there is no such thing as “knowing,” that it was a kind 
of arrogance to dream of it, more, that we no longer have the 
least notion that warrants our considering “knowledge” even a pos- 
sibility — that “knowing” itself is a contradictory idea. We translate 
a primeval mythology and vanity of mankind into the hard fact: 
“knowledge-in-itself” is as impermissible a concept as is “thing-in- 
itself.” Seduction by "number and logic,” seduction by “laws.” 

“Wisdom” as the attempt to get beyond perspective valuations 
(i.e., beyond the “will to power”): a principle hostile to life and 
decadent, a symptom as among the Indians, etc., of the weakening 
of the power of appropriation. 

609 (1884) 

It is not enough that you understand in what ignorance man 
and beast live; you must also have and acquire the will to ignor- 
ance. You need to grasp that without this kind of ignorance life 
itself would be impossible, that it is a condition under which alone 
the living thing can preserve itself and prosper: a great, firm dome 
of ignorance must encompass you. 

610 (1884) 

Science — the transformation of nature into concepts for the 
purpose of mastering nature — belongs under the rubric “means.” 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


329 


But the purpose and will of man must grow in the same way, 
the intention in regard to the whole. 


611 ( 1883-1888 ) 

We find that the strongest and most constantly employed 
faculty at all stages of life is thought — even in every act of per- 
ceiving and apparent passivity! Evidently, it thus becomes most 
powerful and demanding, and in the long run it tyrannizes over all 
other forces. Finally it becomes “passion-in-itself.” 

612 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

To win back for the man of knowledge the right to great 
affects! after self-effacement and the cult of “objectivity” have 
created a false order of rank in this sphere, tod. Error reached its 
peak when Schopenhauer taught: the only way to the “true,” to 
knowledge, lies precisely in getting free from affects, from will; 
the intellect liberated from will cannot but see the true, real es- 
sence of things. 

The same error in arte: 50 as if everything were beautiful as 
soon as it is viewed without will. 

613 (Fall 1888) 

Competition between affects and the dominion of one of the 
affects over the intellect. 


614 (1884) 

To “humanize” the world, i.e., to feel ourselves more and 
more masters within it — 


615 (1884} 

Among a higher kind of creatures, knowledge, too, will acquire 
new forms that are not yet needed. 


In art. About this section, see also the Appendix, below. 




330 


THE WILL TO POWER 


616 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

That the value of the world lies in our interpretation ( — that 
other interpretations than merely human ones are perhaps some- 
where possible — ) ; that previous interpretations have been perspec- 
tive valuations by virtue of which we can survive in life, i,e., in 
the will to power, for the growth of power; that every elevation of 
man brings with it the overcoming of narrower interpretations; 
that every strengthening and increase of power opens up new per- 
spectives and means believing in new horizons — this idea perme- 
ates my writings. The world with which we are concerned is false, 
i.e., is not a fact but a fable and approximation on the basis of 
a meager sum of observations; it is “in flux,” as something in a 
state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting 
near the truth: for — there is no “truth.” 


617 ( 1883 - 1885) 61 

To impose upon becoming the character of being — that is the 
supreme will to power. 

Twofold falsification, on the part of the senses and of the 
spirit, to preserve a world of that which is, which abides, which 
is equivalent, etc. 

That everything recurs 52 is the closest approximation of a 
world of becoming to a world of being : — high point of the medita- 
tion. 

From the values attributed to being proceed the condemnation 
of and discontent with becoming, after such a world of being had 
first been invented. 

The metamorphoses of what has being (body, God, ideas, 
laws of nature, formulas, etc.) 

“Beings” as appearance; reversal of values; appearance was 
that which conferred value — . 

Knowledge-in-itself in a world of becoming is impossible; so 
how is knowledge possible? As error concerning oneself, as will 
to power, as will to deception. 

" Gast entitled this section " Recapitulation and all printed versions 
retain this title. 

“ A reference to Nietzsche’s doctrine of the eternal recurrence of the 
same events. Cf. sections 55 and 1,057 ff. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


331 


Becoming as invention, willing, self-denial, overcoming of 
oneself: no subject but an action, a positing, creative, no “causes 
and effects.” 

Art as the will to overcome becoming, as “eternalization,” 
but shortsighted, depending on the perspective: repeating in minia- 
ture, as it were, the tendency of the Whole. 

Regarding that which all life reveals as a diminutive formula 
for the total tendency; hence a new definition of the concept “life” 
as will to power. 

Instead of “cause and effect” the mutual struggle of that 
which becomes, often with the absorption of one’s opponent; the 
number of becoming elements not constant. 

Uselessness of old ideals for the interpretation of the totality 
of events, once one knows the animal origin and utility of these 
ideals; all, moreover, contradictory fO life. 

Uselessness of the mechanistic theory — it gives the impres- 
sion of meaninglessness. 

The entire idealism of mankind hitherto is on the point of 
changing suddenly into nihilism— -into the belief in absolute worth- 
lessness, i.e., meaninglessness. 

The destruction of ideals, the new desert; new arts by means 
of which we can endure it, we amphibians. 

Presupposition: bravery, patience, no “turning back,” no 
haste to go forward. (N.B. Zarathustra adopts a parodistic atti- 
tude toward all former values as a consequence of his abundance.) 



n. THE WILL TO POWER 
IN NATURE 88 

1. The Mechanistic Interpretation 
of the World 5 * 

618 {1885) 

Of all the interpretations of the world attempted hitherto, the 
mechanistic one seems today to stand victorious in the foreground. 
It evidently has a good conscience on its side; and no science 
believes it can achieve progress and success except with the aid 
of mechanistic procedures. Everyone knows these procedures: 
one leaves “reason” and “purpose” out of account as far as possible, 
one shows that, given sufficient time, anything can evolve out of 
anything else, and one does not conceal a malicious chuckle when 
“apparent intention” in the fate pf a plant or an egg yolk is once 
again traced back to pressure and stress: in short, one pays heart- 
felt homage to the principle of the greatest possible stupidity, if 
a playful expression may be allowed concerning such serious 
matters. Meanwhile, a presentiment, or anxiety, is to be noted 
among select spirits involved in this movement, as if the theory had 
a hole in it that might sooner or later prove to be its final hole: 
I mean the shrill one through which one whistles in an extreme 
emergency . 85 One cannot “explain” pressure and stress themselves, 
one cannot get free of the actio in distans ; 56 — one has lost the 
belief in being able to explain at all, and admits with a wry ex- 
pression that description and not explanation is all that is possible, 
that the dynamic interpretation of the world, with its denial of 
“empty space” and its little clumps of atoms, will shortly come 
to dominate physicists; though an inner quality in dynamis 

619 {1885) 

The victorious concept “force,” by means of which our 

53 Much of this material has no close parallels in Nietzsche’s books. 

“ For a discussion of this section see my Nietzsche, Chapter 9, section I. 

" "Whistling out of the final hole” is a German expression for extreme 
emergencies. 

“Action at a distance. Dynamis, at the end of this section, means 
power, energy, potency. 




book three; Principles of A New Evaluation 


333 


physicists have created God and the world, still needs to be com- 
pleted: an inner will must be ascribed to it, which I designate as 
“will to power,” i.e., as an insatiable desire to manifest power; 
or as the employment and exercise of power, as a creative drive, 
etc. Physicists cannot eradicate “action at a distance” from their 
principles; nor can they eradicate a repellent force (or an attracting 
one). There is nothing for it: one is obliged to understand all 
motion, all “appearances,” all “laws,” only as symptoms of an 
inner event and to employ man as an analogy to this end. In the 
case of an animal, it is possible to trace all its drives to the will 
to power; likewise all the functions of organic life to this one 
source. 


620 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Has a force ever been demonstrated? No, only effects trans- 
lated into a completely foreign language. We are so used, how- 
ever, to regularity in succession that its oddity no longer seems odd 
to us. 


621 ( 1885-1886 ) 

A force we cannot imagine is an empty word and should be 
allowed no rights of citizenship in science; like the so-called purely 
mechanistic forces of attraction and repulsion, which are intended 
to make it possible for us to form an image of the world, no more! 

622 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Pressure and stress, something unspeakably late, derivative, 
un-primeval. For they presuppose something that holds together 
and is able to exert pressure and stress! But how can it hold 
together? 


623 ( March-June 1888 ) 

There is nothing unchanging in chemistry: this is only appear- 
ance, a mere school prejudice. We have slipped in the unchanging, 
my physicist friends, deriving it from metaphysics as always. To 
assert that diamond, graphite, and carbon are identical is to read 
off the facts naively from the surface. Why? Merely because no 



334 


THB WILL TO POWER 


loss in substance can be shown on the scales! Very well, they have 
something in common; but the activity of molecules during the 
transformation, which we cannot see or weigh, turns one material 
into something different — with specifically different properties. 

624 {1883-1888) 

Against the physical atom.-- To comprehend the world, we 
have to be able to calculate it; to be able to calculate it, we have 
to have constant causes; because we find no such constant causes 
in actuality, we invent them for ourselves — the atoms. This is the 
origin of atomism. 

The calculability of the world, the expressibility of all events 
in formulas — is this really “comprehension”? How much of a piece 
of music has been understood when that in it which is calculable 
and can be reduced to formulas has been reckoned up? — And 
“constant causes,” things, substances, something “unconditioned”; 
invented — what has one achieved? 

625 ( March-June 1888) 

The mechanistic concept of “motion” is already a translation 
of the original process into the sign language of sight and touch. 

The concept “atom,” the distinction between the ‘“seat of 
a driving force and the force itself,” is a sign language derived 
from our logical-psychical world. 

We cannot change our means of expression at will: it is 
possible to understand to what extent they are mere signs. The 
demand for an adequate mode of expression is senseless: it is of 
the essence of a language, a means of expression, to express a 
mere relationship — 

The concept “truth” is nonsensical. The entire domain of 
“true-false” applies only to relations, not to an “in-itself” — There 
is no “essence-in-itself” (it is only relations that constitute an 
essence — ), just as there can be no “knowledge-in-itself.” 

626 ( 1883-1886 ) 

“The sensation of force cannot proceed from motion: sen- 
sation in general cannot proceed from motion.” 



335 


BOOK three; Principles of A New Evaluation 

“It is only an apparent experience that speaks in favor of this: 
in a substance (brain), sensations are produced by transmitted 
motion (stimuli). But produced? Would this prove that the sen- 
sation did not exist there at all? so that its appearance would have 
to be conceived as a creative act on the part of the motion? The 
sensationless state of this substance is only a hypothesis! it is not 
experienced! — Sensation is thus a property of substance: there 
are substances that have sensations.” 

“Do we discover from certain substances that they have no 
sensations? No, we only fail to discover that they have any. It is 
impossible to derive sensation from a substance without sens- 
ation.” — Oh what overhastiness! 

627 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

“Attraction” and “repulsion” in a purely mechanistic sense 
are complete fictions: a word. We cannot think of an attraction 
divorced from an intention .— The will to take possession of a 
thing or to defend oneself against it and repel it — that, we “under- 
stand”: that would be an interpretation of which we could make 
use. 

In short: the psychological necessity for a belief in causality 
lies in the inconceivability of an event divorced from intent; by 
which naturally nothing is said concerning truth or untruth (the 
justification of such a belief)! The belief in causae ® T falls with the 
belief in t6Ie® 8 (against Spinoza and his causalism). 

628 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

It is an illusion that something is known when we possess a 
mathematical formula for an event: it is only designated, described; 
nothing more! 


629 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

If I reduce a regular event to a formula, I have foreshortened, 
facilitated, etc., the description of the whole phenomenon. But I 
have established no “law,” I have raised the question how it 

" Efficient causes. 

" Final causes; purposes. 




336 THE WILL TO POWER 

happens that something here repeats itself: that the formula cor- 
responds to a complex of initially unknown forces and discharges 
of force, is a supposition; it is mythology to think that forces here 
obey a law, so that, as a consequence of their obedience, we have 
the same phenomenon each time. 

630 ( 1885 ) 

I beware of speaking of chemical “laws”: that savors of 
morality. It is far rather a question of the absolute establishment 
of power relationships: the stronger becomes master of the weaker, 
in so far as the latter cannot assert its degree of independence — 
here there is no mercy, no forbearance, even less a respect for 
“laws”! 


631 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

The unalterable sequence of certain phenomena demonstrates 
no “law” but a power relationship between two or more forces. 
To say “But this relationship itself remains constant” is to say no 
more than “One and the same force cannot also be another 
force.” — It is a question, not of succession, but of interpenetration, 
a process in which the individual successive moments are not 
related to one another as cause and effect — 

The separation of the “deed” from the “doer,” of the event 
from someone who produces events, of the process from a some- 
thing that is not process but enduring, substance, thing, body, 
soul, etc. — the attempt to comprehend an event as a sort of shifting 
and place-changing on the part of a “being,” of something con- 
stant: this ancient mythology established the belief in “cause and 
effect” after it had found a firm form in the functions of language 
and grammar. 


632 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

“Regularity” in succession is only a metaphorical expression, 
as if a rule were being followed here; not a fact. In the same way 
“conformity with a law.” We discover a formula by which to ex- 
press an ever-recurring kind of result: we have therewith dis- 
covered no “law,” even less a force that is the cause of the recur- 
rence of a succession of results. That something always happens 



337 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

thus and thus is here interpreted as if a creature always acted thus 
and thus as a result of obedience to a law or a lawgiver, while it 
would be free to act otherwise were it not for the “law.” But 
precisely this thus-and-not-otherwise might be inherent in the 
creature, which might behave thus and thus, not in response to a 
law, but because it is constituted thus and thus. All it would mean 
is: something cannot also be something else, cannot do now this 
and now something else, is neither free nor unfree but simply thus 
and thus. The mistake lies in the fictitious insertion of a subject . 

633 {March-June 1888) 

Two successive states, the one “cause,” the other “effect”: 
this is false. The first has nothing to effect, the second has been 
effected by nothing. 

It is a question of a struggle between two elements of unequal 
power: a new arrangement of forces is achieved according to the 
measure of power of each of them. The second condition is some- 
thing fundamentally different from the first (not its effect) : the 
essential thing is that the factions in struggle emerge with different 
quanta of power. 


634 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Critique of the mechanistic theory . — Let us here dismiss the 
two popular concepts “necessity” and “law”: the former intro- 
duces a false constraint into the world, the latter a false freedom. 
“Things” do not behave regularly, according to a rule: there are 
no things (—they are fictions invented by us); they behave just 
as little under the constraint of necessity. There is no obedience 
here: for that something is as it is, as strong or as weak, is not 
the consequence of an obedience or a rule or a compulsion — 

The degree of resistance and the degree of superior power — 
this is the question in every event: if, for our day-to-day cal- 
culations, we know how to express this in formulas and “laws,” 
so much the better for usl But we have not introduced any 
“morality” into the world by the fiction that it is obedient — . 

There is no law: every power draws its ultimate consequence 
at every moment. Calculability exists precisely because things are 
unable to be other than they are. 

A quantum of power is designated by the effect it produces 



338 


THE WILL TO POWER 


and that which it resists. The adiaphorous state is missing, though 
it is thinkable. It is essentially a will to violate and to defend one- 
self against violation. Not self-preservation: every atom affects 
the whole of being — it is thought away if one thinks away this 
radiation of power-will. That is why I call it a quantum of “will 
to power”: it expresses the characteristic that cannot be thought 
out of the mechanistic order without thinking away this order itself. 

A translation of this world of effect into a visible world — a 
world for the eyes— -is the conception “motion.” This always carries 
the idea that something is moved — this always supposes, whether 
as the fiction of a little clump of atom or even as the abstraction of 
this, the dynamic atom, a thing that produces effects — i.e., we have 
not got away from the habit into which our senses and language 
seduce us. Subject, object, a doer added to the doing, the doing sep- 
arated from that which it does: let us not forget that this is mere 
semeiotics and nothing real. Mechanistic theory as a theory of mo- 
tion is already a translation into the sense language of man. 6 ® 

635 ( March-June 1888) 

We need “unities” in order to be able to reckon: that does 
not mean we must suppose that such unities exist. We have 
borrowed the concept of unity from our “ego” concept — our 
oldest article of faith. If we did not hold ourselves to be unities, 
we would never have formed the concept “thing.” Now, somewhat 
late, we are firmly convinced that our conception of the ego does 
not guarantee any actual unity. In order to sustain the theory of 
a mechanistic world, therefore, we always have to stipulate to what 
extent we are employing two fictions: the concept of motion 
(taken from our sense language) and the concept of the atom 
( = unity, deriving from our psychical “experience”) : the mecha- 
nistic theory presupposes a sense prejudice and a psychological 
prejudice. 

Mechanistic theory formulates consecutive appearances, and 
it does so semeiotically, in terms of the senses and of psychology 
(that all effect is motion; that where there is motion something is 
moved) ; it does not touch upon the causal force. 

"In the MS section 635 follows immediately, without break; but the 
German editors divided this notebook entry into two sections. 

Cf. my note 54 above. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


339 


The mechanistic world is imagined as only sight and touch 
imagine a world (as “moved”)-— so as to be calculable — thus 
causal unities are invented, “things” (atoms) whose effect remains 
constant ( — transference of the false concept of subject to the con- 
cept of the atom) . 

The following are therefore phenomenal: the injection of the 
concept of number, the concept of the thing (concept of the sub- 
ject), the concept of activity (separation of cause from effect), the 
concept of motion (sight and touch) : our eye and our psychology 
are still part of it. 

If we eliminate these additions, no things remain but only 
dynamic quanta, in a relation of tension to all other dynamic 
quanta: their essence lies in their relation to all other quanta, in 
their “effect” upon the same. The will to power not a being, not 
a becoming, but a pathos — the most elemental fact from which a 
becoming and effecting first emerge — 


636 (M arch-June 1888) 

Physicists believe in a “true world” in their own fashion: a 
firm systematization of atoms in necessary motion, the same for all 
beings— so for them the “apparent world” is reduced to the side 
of universal and universally necessary being which is accessible to 
every being in its own way (accessible and also already adapted — 
made "subjective”). But they are in error. The atom they posit is 
inferred according to the logic of the perspectivism of conscious- 
ness — and is therefore itself a subjective fiction. This world picture 
that they sketch differs in no essential way from the subjective 
world picture: it is only construed with more extended senses, but 
with our senses nonetheless — And in any case they left something 
out of the constellation without knowing it: precisely this necessary 
perspectivism by virtue of which every center of force — and not 
only man — construes all the rest of the world from its own view- 
point, i.e., measures, feels, forms, according to its own force — 
They forgot to include this perspective-setting force in “true being” 
— in school language: the subject. They think this is “evolved,” 
added later; but even the chemist needs it: it is being specific, 


“Occasion, event, passion, suffering, destiny are among the meanings 
of this Greek word. A comparison of the sections in this part with White- 
head’s philosophy of occasions and events would be fruitful. 




340 


THE WILL TO POWER 


definitely acting and reacting thus and thus, as may be the case. 

Perspectivism is only a complex form of specificity. My idea 
is that every specific body strives to become master over all space 
and to extend its force ( — its will to power: ) and to thrust back 
all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar 
efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an 
arrangement (“union”) with those of them that are sufficiently 
related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the 
process goes on — 


637 (1885) 

Even in the domain of the inorganic an atom of force is con- 
cerned only with its neighborhood: distant forces balance one an- 
other. Here is the kernel of the perspective view and why a living 
creature is “egoistic” through and through. 

638 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Supposing that the world had a certain quantum of force at 
its disposal, then it is obvious that every displacement of power 
at any point would affect the whole system— -thus together with 
sequential causality there would be a contiguous and concurrent 
dependence. 


639 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The sole way of maintaining a meaning for the concept “God” 
would be: God not as the driving force, but God as a maximal 
state, as an epoch — a point in the evolution of the will to power 
by means of which further evolution just as much as previous evo- 
lution up to him could be explained. 

Regarded mechanistically, the energy of the totality of becom- 
ing remains constant; regarded economically, it rises to a high 
point and sinks down again in an eternal circle. This “will to 
power” expresses itself in the interpretation, in the manner in 
which force is used up; transformation of energy into life, and 
“life at its highest potency,” thus appears as the goal. The same 
quantum of energy means different things at different stages of 
evolution. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 341 

That which constitutes growth in life is an ever more thrifty 
and more far-seeing economy, which achieves more and more with 
less and less force — As an ideal, the principle of the smallest ex- 
penditure — 

That the world is not striving toward a stable condition is 
the only thing that has been proved. Consequently one must con- 
ceive its climactic condition in such a way that it is not a condition 
of equilibrium — 

The absolute necessity of similar events occurring in the 
course of one world, as in all others, is in eternity not a determin- 
ism ruling events, but merely the expression of the fact that the 
impossible is not possible; that a certain force cannot be anything 
other than this certain force; that it can react to a quantum of 
resisting force only according to the measure of its strength;— 
event and necessary event is a tautology. 


2. The Will to Power as Life 
A. The Organic Process 

640 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Man thinks of himself as having been present when the organic 
world originated: what was there to be perceived by sight and 
touch when this event took place? What can be reduced to figures? 
What laws are revealed in the motions? Thus: man wants to ar- 
range all events as events accessible to sight and touch, conse- 
quently as motions: he wants to find formulas so as to simplify 
the tremendous quantity of his experiences. Reduction of all events 
to the level of the man of the senses and the mathematician. It is 
a question of an inventory of human experiences— under the sup- 
position that man, or rather the human eye and ability to form 
concepts, are the eternal witness of all things. 

641 ( 1883-1888 ) 


A multiplicity of forces, connected by a common mode of 
nutrition, we call “life.” To this mode of nutrition, as a means of 



342 


THE WILL TO POWER 


making it possible, belong all so-called feelings, ideas, thoughts; 
i.e., (1) a resistance to all other forces; (2) an adjustment of the 
same according to form and rhythm; (3) an estimate in regard to 
assimilation or excretion. 


642 (1885) 

The connection between the inorganic and the organic must 
lie in the repelling force exercised by every atom of force. “Life” 
would be defined as an enduring form of processes of the establish- 
ment of force, in which the different contenders grow unequally. 
To what extent resistance is present even in obedience; individual 
power is by no means surrendered. In the same way, there is in 
commanding an admission that the absolute power of the opponent 
has not been vanquished, incorporated, disintegrated. “Obedience” 
and “commanding” are forms of struggle. 

643 (1885-1886) 

The will to power interprets ( — it is a question of interpreta- 
tion when an organ is constructed): it defines limits, determines 
degrees, variations of power. Mere variations of power could not 
feel themselves to be such: there must be present something that 
wants to grow and interprets the value of whatever else wants to 
grow. Equal in that — In fact, interpretation is itself a means of 
becoming master of something. (The organic process constantly 
presupposes interpretations.) 

644 (1883-1888) 

Greater complexity, sharp differentiation, the contiguity of 
developed organs and functions with the disappearance of the inter- 
mediate members — if that is perfection, then there is a will to 
power in the organic process by virtue of which dominant, shaping, 
commanding forces continually extend the bounds of their power 
and continually simplify within these bounds: the imperative grows. 

“Spirit” is only a means and tool in the service of higher life, 
of the enhancement of life; and as for the good, as Plato (and after 
him Christianity) understood it, it seems to me to be actually a 
life-endangering, life-calumniating, life-denying principle. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


343 


645 ( 7855 ) 

That “heredity,” as something quite unexplained, cannot be 
employed as an explanation but only to describe and fix a problem. 
The same applies to “power of adaptation.” Indeed, the morpho- 
logical presentation, even if it were complete, explains nothing, 
but only describes a tremendous fact. How an organ can be em- 
ployed to achieve something is not explained. In these matters, 
the assumption of causae finales explains as little as the assumption 
of causae efficientes. The concept of "causa” is only a means of 
expression, nothing more; a means of description. 

646 (1885) 

There are analogies; e.g., a memory analogous to our memory 
that reveals itself in heredity and evolution and forms. An in- 
ventiveness in the application of tools to new ends analogous to 
our inventiveness and experimentation* etc. 

That which we call our “consciousness” is innocent of any 
of the essential processes of our preservation and our growth; 
and no head is so subtle that it could construe more than a machine 
— to which every organic process is far superior. 

647 ( 7858 - 7588 ) 

Against Darwinism . 01 — The utility of an organ does not 
explain its origin; on the contrary! For most of the time during 
which a property is forming it does not preserve the individual and 
is of no use to him, least of all in the struggle with external circum- 
stances and enemies. 

What, after all, is “useful”? One must ask “useful in relation 
to what?” E.g., that which is useful for the long life of the indi- 
vidual might be unfavorable to its strength and splendor; that which 
preserves the individual might at the same time arrest and halt 
its evolution. On the other hand, a deficiency, a degeneration, can 
be of the highest utility in so far as it acts as a stimulant to other 
organs. In the same way, a state of need can be a condition of 
existence, in so far as it reduces an individual to that measure of 


** Cf. sections 684 and 685. 



344 


THE WILL TO POWER 


expenditure which holds it together but prevents it from squander- 
ing itself. — The individual itself as a struggle between parts (for 
food, space, etc. ) : its evolution tied to the victory or predominance 
of individual parts, to an atrophy, a “becoming an organ” of 
other parts. 

The influence of “external circumstances” is overestimated by 
Darwin to a ridiculous extent: the essential thing in the life process 
is precisely the tremendous shaping, form-creating force working 
from within which utilizes and exploits “external circumstances” — 
The new forms molded from within are not formed with an end 
in view; but in the struggle of the parts a new form is not left long 
without being related to a partial usefulness and then, according 
to its use, develops itself more and more completely . 02 

648 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

“Useful” in respect of acceleration of the tempo of evolution 
is a different kind of “useful” from that in respect of the greatest 
possible stability and durability of that Which is evolved. 

649 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

“Useful” in the sense of Darwinist biology means: proved 
advantageous in the struggle with others. But it seems to me that 
the feeling of increase, the feeling of becoming stronger, is itself, 
quite apart from any usefulness in the struggle, the real progress: 
only from this feeling does there arise the will to struggle — 

650 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

Physiologists should think again before positing the “instinct 
of preservation” as the cardinal drive in an organic creature. A 
living thing wants above all to discharge its force: “preservation” 
is only a consequence of this. — Beware of superfluous teleological 
principles! The entire concept “instinct of preservation” is one of 
them. 


“The MS continues: “If only that had been preserved which proved 
useful all the time, then above all the noxious, destructive, disintegrating ca- 
pacities — the senseless, accidental, ...” 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


345 


651 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

One cannot ascribe the most basic and primeval activities of 
protoplasm to a will to self-preservation, for it takes into itself 
absurdly more than would be required to preserve it; and, above 
all, it does not thereby “preserve itself,” it falls apart — The drive 
that rules here has to explain precisely this absence of desire for 
self-preservation: “hunger” is an interpretation based on far more 
complicated organisms ( — hunger is a specialized and later form 
of the drive, an expression of a division of labor in the service of 
a higher drive that rules over it). 

652 (March-June 1888 ) 

It is not possible to take hunger as the primum mobile, 03 
any more than self-preservation. To understand hunger as a con- 
sequence of undernourishment means: hunger as the consequence 
of a will to power that no longer achieves mastery. It is by no 
means a question of replacing a loss — only later, as a result of 
the division of labor, after the will to power has learned to take 
other roads to its satisfaction, is an organism’s need to appropriate 
reduced to hunger, to the need to replace what has been lost. 

653 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The false “altruism” of biologists is ridiculous: propagation 
among amoebas seems to be the throwing off of ballast, a pure ad- 
vantage. The excretion of useless material. 

654 (1885-1886) 

A protoplasm divides in two when its power is no longer 
adequate to control what it has appropriated: procreation is the 
consequence of an impotency. 

When, from hunger, the males seek out the females and are 
united with them, procreation is the consequence of a hunger. 


“ First motive. 




346 


THE WILL TO POWER 


655 {1885) 

The weaker presses to the stronger from a need for nourish- 
ment; it wants to get under it, if possible to become one with it. 
The stronger, on the contrary, drives others away; it does not 
want to perish in this maimer; it grows and in growing it splits 
itself into two or more parts. The greater the impulse toward unity, 
the more firmly may one conclude that weakness is present; the 
greater the impulse towards variety, differentiation, inner decay, 
the more force is present. 

The drive to approach — and the drive to thrust something 
back are the bond, in both ' the inorganic and the organic world. 
The entire distinction is a prejudice. 

The will to power in every combination of forces, defending 
itself against the stronger, lunging at the weaker, is more correct. 
N.B.: Processes as “entities.” 04 


656 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The will to power can manifest itself only against resistances; 
therefore it seeks that which resists it — this is the primeval tendency 
of the protoplasm when it extends pseudopodia and feels about. 
Appropriation and assimilation are above all a desire to overwhelm, 
a forming, shaping and reshaping, until at length that which has 
been overwhelmed has entirely gone over into the power domain 
of the aggressor and has increased the same. — If this incorpora- 
tion is not successful, then the form probably falls to pieces; and 
the duality appears as a consequence of the will to power: in order 
not to let go what has been conquered, the will to power divides 
itself into two wills (in some cases without completely surrendering 
the connection between its two parts). 

“Hunger” is only a narrower adaptation after the basic drive 
for power has won a more spiritual form. 

657 ( 1886-1887 ) 

What is “passive”? — To be hindered from moving forward: 
thus an act of resistance and reaction. 


“Or: as "essence” ( Die Prozesse als “Wesen"). 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


347 


What is “active”? — reaching out for power. 

“Nourishment” — is only derivative; the original phenomenon 
is: to desire to incorporate everything. 

“Procreation” — only derivative; originally: where one will 
was not enough to organize the entire appropriated material, 
there came into force an opposing will which took in hand 
the separation; a new center of organization, after a 
struggle with the original will. 

“Pleasure” — as a feeling of power {presupposing displeasure) . 

658 (1885) 

1. The organic functions translated back to the basic will, 
the will to power — and understood as offshoots. 

2. The will to power specializes as will to nourishment, to 
property, to tools, to servants (those who obey) and masters: the 
body as an example. — The stronger will directs the weaker. 
There is absolutely no other kind of causality than that of will 
upon will. Not explained mechanistically. 

3. Thinking, feeling, willing in all living beings. What is a 
pleasure but: an excitation of the feeling of power by an obstacle 
(even more strongly by rhythmic obstacles and resistances) — so 
it swells up. Thus all pleasure includes pain. — If the pleasure is 
to be very great, the pains must be very protracted and the tension 
of the bow tremendous. 

4. The spiritual functions. Will to shape, to assimilate, etc. 


B. Man 

659 (1885) 

The evidence of the body . — Granted that the “soul” is an 
attractive and mysterious idea which philosophers have rightly 
abandoned only with reluctance — perhaps that which they have 
since learned to put in its place is even more attractive, even more 
mysterious. The human body, in which the most distant and most 
recent past of all organic development again becomes living and 
corporeal, through which and over and beyond which a tremendous 
inaudible stream seems to flow: the body is a more astonishing 



348 THE WILL TO POWER 

idea than the old “soul.” In all ages, there has been more faith 
in the body, as our most personal possession, our most certain 
being, in short our ego, than in the spirit (or the “soul,” or the 
subject, as school language now has it instead of soul). It has 
never occurred to anyone to regard his stomach as a strange or, 
say, a divine stomach: but to conceive his ideas as “inspired,” his 
evaluations as “implanted by a God,” his instincts as activity in a 
half-light — for this tendency and taste in men there are witnesses 
from all ages of mankind. Even now there is ample evidence 
among artists of a sort of wonderment and respectful suspension 
of judgment when they are faced with the question of the means 
by which they achieved their best work and from which world the 
creative idea came to them; when they ask this, they exhibit some- 
think like innocence and childlike shamefacedness; they hardly 
dare to say “it came from me, it was my hand that threw the 
dice.” 

Conversely, even those philosophers and religious teachers 
who had the most compelling ground in their logic and piety to 
consider their bodies a deception (and, indeed, as a deception 
overcome and done with) could not help acknowledging the foolish 
fact that the body has not gone away; of which the strangest wit- 
nesses are to be found partly in Paul, partly in the Vedanta phi- 
losophy. But what, after all, does strength of belief mean? It could 
still be a very foolish belief! — This should be reflected on: — 

And after all, if belief in the body is only the result of an 
inference: supposing it were a false inference, as the idealists 
assert, is it not a question mark against the spirit itself that it 
should be the cause of such false inferences? Supposing multiplicity, 
space and time, and motion (and whatever else may be the pre- 
suppositions of a belief in what is bodily) were errors — what 
mistrust would this arouse against the spirit that had prompted 
such presuppositions? Let is suffice that, for the present, belief 
in the body is always a stronger belief than belief in the spirit; 
and whoever desires to undermine it, also undermines at the 
same time most thoroughly belief in the authority of the spirit! 

660 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

The Body as a Political Structure. 

The aristocracy in the body, the majority of the rulers 
(struggle between cells and tissues). 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


349 


Slavery and division of labor: the higher type possible only 
through the subjugation of the lower, so that it becomes a function. 

Pleasure and pain not opposites. The feeling of power. 

“Nourishment” only a consequence of insatiable appropria- 
tion, of the will to power. 

“Procreation,” die crumbling that supervenes when the ruling 
cells are incapable of organizing that which has been appropriated. 

It is the shaping force that desires an ever new supply of 
“material” (more “force”). The masterpiece of the construction 
of an organism from an egg. 

“Mechanistic interpretation”: desires nothing but quantities; 
but force is to be found in quality. Mechanistic theory can there- 
fore only describe processes, not explain them. 

“Purpose.” One should start from the“sagacity” of plants. 

Concept of “perfecting”: not only greater complexity, but 
greater power ( — does not have to be merely greater mass — ). 

Inference concerning the evolution of mankind: perfecting 
consists in the production of the most powerful individuals, who 
will use the great mass of people as their tools (and indeed the 
most intelligent and most pliable tools). 

661 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Why is all activity, even that of a sense, associated with 
pleasure? Because before it an obstacle, a burden existed? Or 
rather because all doing is an overcoming, a becoming master, and 
increases the feeling of power? — Pleasure in thinking. — Ulti- 
mately, it is not only the feeling of power, but the pleasure in 
creating and in the thing created; for all activity enters our con- 
sciousness as consciousness of a “work.” 

662 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Creation — as selection and finishing of the thing selected. 
(This is the essential thing in every act of will.) 

663 ( 1885 - 1886 ) 

All events that result from intention are reducible to the 
intention to increase power. 



350 


THE WILL TO POWER 


664 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

When we do something there arises a feeling of force , 65 often 
even before the deed, occasioned by the idea of what is to be done 
(as at the sight of an enemy or an obstacle to which we feel our- 
selves equal): it is always an accompanying feeling. We instinc- 
tively think that this feeling of force is the cause of the action, 
that it is “the force.” Our belief in causality is belief in force and 
its effect; a transference from our experience; and we identify 
force and the feeling of force. — Force, however, never moves 
things; the force we feel “does not set the muscles in motion.” 
“We have no idea, no experience, of such a process.” — “Just as 
we have no experience of force as the cause of motion, so we have 
no experience of the necessity of any motion.” Force is supposed 
to be that which compels! “We experience only that one thing 
follows upon another. — We have no experience of either com- 
pulsion or arbitrariness in the following of one thing upon another.” 
Causality is created only by thinking compulsion into the process. 
A certain “comprehension” is the consequence, i.e., we have made 
the process more human, “more familiar”: the familiar is the 
familiar habit of human compulsion associated with the feeling of 
force. 


665 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

I have the intention of raising my arm: supposing I know as 
little of the physiology of the human body and the mechanical 
laws of its motion as the man in the street, what could really be 
more vague, pale, uncertain than this intention, when compared 
with what follows upon it? And suppose I am the most astute of 
mechanics and specially instructed in the formulas applicable here, 
I should not be able to raise my arm one whit the better or the 
worse. Our “knowledge” and our “deed” lie in this case coldly 
apart, as if in two different domains. — 

On the other hand: Napoleon executed a plan of campaign 
— what does that mean? Here everything pertaining to the execu- 
tion of the plan is known, because everything has to be trans- 
mitted by command; but here, too, subordinates are presupposed 

“ Kraftgefiihl could also be translated: feeling of strength. 




351 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

who interpret and apply the general plan to the needs of the 
moment, measure of force, etc. 

666 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

From time immemorial we have ascribed the value of an 
action, a character, an existence, to the intention, the purpose for 
the sake of which one has acted or lived: this age-old idiosyncrasy 
finally takes a dangerous turn — provided, that is, that the absence 
of intention and purpose in events comes more and more to the 
forefront of consciousness. Thus there seems to be in prepara- 
tion a universal disvaluation: “Nothing has any meaning” — this 
melancholy sentence means “All meaning lies in intention, and if 
intention is altogether lacking, then meaning is altogether lacking, 
too.” In accordance with this valuation, one was constrained to 
transfer the value of life to a “life after death,” or to the progressive 
development of ideas or of mankind or of the people or beyond 
mankind; but with that one had arrived at a progressus in infinitum 
of purposes: one was at last constrained to make a place for one- 
self in the “world process” (perhaps with the dysdaemonistic 88 
perspective that it was a process into nothingness). 

In this regard, “purpose” requires a more vigorous critique: 
one must understand that an action is never caused by a purpose; 
that purpose and means are interpretations whereby certain points 
in an event are emphasized and selected at the expense of other 
points, which, indeed, form the majority; that every single time 
something is done with a purpose in view, something fundamentally 
different and other occurs; that every purposive action is like the 
supposed purposiveness of the heat the sun gives off: the enormously 
greater part is squandered; a part hardly worth considering serves 
a “purpose,” has “meaning”; that a “purpose” and its “means” 
provide an indescribably imprecise description, which can, indeed, 
issue commands as a prescription, as a “will,” but which presup- 
poses a system of obedient and trained tools, which in place of 
indefinite entities posit nothing but fixed magnitudes (i.e., we 
imagine a system of shrewder but narrower intellects that posit 
purposes and means, in order to be able to ascribe to our only 

M Nietzsche’s coinage, after “eu-daemon,” “eu-daemonism,” which means 
“good spirit,” “an ethic of happiness.” “Dys-” is the antonym of “eu-” and 
means “ill” or “bad.” Hence: evil-spirited or unhappy. 



352 


THE WILL TO POWER 


known “purpose” the role of the “cause of an action,” to which 
procedure we really have no right: it would mean solving a prob- 
lem by placing the solution in a world inaccessible to our observa- 
tion — ). 

Finally: why could “a purpose” not be an epiphenomenon 
in the series of changes in the activating forces that bring about 
the purposive action — a pale image sketched in consciousness 
beforehand that serves to orient us concerning events, even as a 
symptom of events, not as their cause? — But with this we have 
criticized the will itself: is it not an illusion to take for a cause 
that which rises to consciousness as an act of will? Are not all 
phenomena of consciousness merely terminal phenomena, final 
links in a chain, but apparently conditioning one another in their 
succession on one level of consciousness? This could be an illu- 
sion— 


667 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Science does not ask what drives us to this will: it rather 
denies that will is exercised, and holds that something quite dif- 
ferent occurs — in short, that the belief in “will” and “purpose” is 
an illusion. It does not inquire after the motives of an action, as if 
these had been present in consciousness before the action; but it 
first breaks up the action into a group of mechanistic phenomena 
and seeks the previous history of this mechanistic motion — but it 
does not seek it in feeling, sensation, thinking. It can never take the 
explanation from this quarter: sensation is precisely the material 
that is to be explained. — Its problem is: to explain the world 
without taking sensations as causes; for that would mean: consider- 
ing sensations as the cause of sensations. Its task is certainly not 
accomplished. 

Therefore: either no will — the hypothesis of science — or free 
will. The latter assumption the dominant feeling from which we 
cannot get loose, even if the scientific hypothesis were proved true. 

The popular belief in cause and effect is founded on the 
presupposition that free will is the cause of every effect: it is 
only from this that we derive the feeling of causality. Thus there 
is also in it the feeling that every cause is not an effect but always 
only a cause — if the will is the cause. “Our acts of will are not 
necessary” — this idea is contained in the concept “will.” What is 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


353 


necessary is the effect following upon the cause — that is what we 
feel. That our willing, too, is in every case a compulsion is a 
hypothesis. 


668 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

“Willing” is not “desiring,” striving, demanding: it is dis- 
tinguished from these by the affect of commanding. 

There is no such thing as “willing,” but only a willing some- 
thing: one must not remove the aim from the total condition — 
as epistemologists do. “Willing” as they understand it is as little 
a reality as “thinking”: it is a pure fiction. 

It is part of willing that something is commanded ( — which 
naturally does not mean that the will is “effected”). 

That state of tension by virtue of which a force seeks to dis- 
charge itself — is not an example of “willing.” 

669 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

“Displeasure” and “pleasure” are the most stupid means 
imaginable of expressing judgments: which naturally does not 
mean that the judgments made audible in this manner must be 
stupid. The abandonment of all substantiation and logicality, a Yes 
or No in the reduction to a passionate desire to have or a rejection, 
an imperative abbreviation whose utility is unmistakable: this is 
pleasure and displeasure. It originates in the central sphere of 
the intellect; its presupposition is an infinitely speeded-up per- 
ception, ordering, subsumption, calculating, inferring: pleasure and 
displeasure are always terminal phenomena, not “causes.” 

The decision about what arouses pleasure and what arouses 
displeasure depends upon the degree of power: something that in 
relation to a small quantum of power appears dangerous and seems 
to require the speediest defense, can evoke, given the consciousness 
of greater power, a voluptuous excitation and a feeling of pleasure. 

All feelings of pleasure and displeasure presuppose a calcula- 
tion of utility and harmfulness to the whole; in other words, a 
sphere where an end (a state) is desired and means for it are 
selected. Pleasure and displeasure are never “basic facts.” 

Feelings of pleasure and displeasure are reactions of the will 
(affects), in which the intellectual center fixes the value of cer- 



354 


THE WILL TO POWER 


tain changes which have occurred in relation to the value of the 
whole; at the same time the introduction of counteractions. 

670 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

The belief in “affects ." — Affects are a construction of the 
intellect, an invention of causes that do not exist. All general bodily 
feelings that we do not understand are interpreted intellectually; 
i.e., a reason is sought in persons, experiences, etc., for why one 
feels this way or that. Thus something disadvantageous, dangerous, 
or strange is posited as the cause of our ill humor; in fact, it is 
added on to ill humor, in order to render our condition comprehen- 
sible. Frequent rushes of blood to the brain accompanied by a 
choking sensation are interpreted as “anger”: persons and things 
that rouse us to anger are means of relieving our physiological 
condition. — Subsequently, after long habituation, certain incidents 
are so regularly associated with certain general feelings that the 
sight of certain incidents arouses the corresponding feeling and in 
particular brings with it this congestion of blood, production of 
semen, etc., through closeness of association. We then say that 
“the affect is aroused.” 

Judgments already inhere in “pleasure” and “displeasure”; 
stimuli are differentiated according to whether or not they further 
the feeling of power. 

The belief in willing. To posit a belief as the cause of a 
mechanistic motion is to believe in miracles. The consistency of 
science demands that, once we have made the world thinkable by 
means of little images, we should also make the affects, desires, 
will, etc., thinkable, i.e., deny them and treat them as errors of 
the intellect. 


671 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Freedom of will or no freedom of will? — There is no such 
thing as “will”; it is only a simplifying conception of understanding, 
as is “matter.” 

All actions must first be made possible mechanically before 
they are willed. Or: the “purpose” usually comes into the mind only 
after everything has been prepared for its execution. The end is 
an “inner” “stimulus” — no more. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


355 


672 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The most recent history of an action relates to this action: 
but further back lies a prehistory which covers a wider field: the 
individual action is at the same time a part of a much more exten- 
sive, later fact. The briefer and the more extended processes are 
not separated — 


673 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Theory of chance. The soul a selective and self-nourishing 
entity, perpetually extremely shrewd and creative (this creative 
force is usually overlooked', is conceived only as “passive”). 

To recognize the active force, the creative force in the chance 
event: — chance itself is only the clash of creative impulses. 

674 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

In the tremendous multiplicity of events within an organism, 
the part which becomes conscious to us is a mere means: and the 
little bit of “virtue,” “selflessness,” and similar fictions are refuted 
radically by the total balance of events. We should study our organ- 
ism in all its immorality — 

The animal functions are, as a matter of principle, a million 
times more important than all our beautiful moods and heights of 
consciousness: the latter are a surplus, except when they have to 
serve as tools of those animal functions. The entire conscious life, 
the spirit along with the soul, the heart, goodness, and virtue — in 
whose service do they labor? In the service of the greatest possible 
perfection of the means (means of nourishment, means of enhance- 
ment) of the basic animal functions: above all, the enhancement 
of life. 

What one used to call “body” and “flesh” is of such unspeak- 
ably greater importance: the remainder is a small accessory. The 
task of spinning on the chain of life, and in such a way that the 
thread grows ever more powerful — that is the task. 

But consider how heart, soul, virtue, spirit practically con- 
spire together to subvert this systematic task — as if they were the 
end in view! — The degeneration of life is conditioned essentially 



356 


THE WILL TO POWER 


by the extraordinary proneness to error of consciousness: it is 
held in check by instinct the least of all and therefore blunders 
the longest and the most thoroughly. 

To measure whether existence has value according to the 
pleasant or unpleasant feelings aroused in this consciousness: can 
one think of a madder extravagance of vanity? For it is only a 
means — and pleasant or unpleasant feelings are also only means! 

What is the objective measure of value? Solely the quantum 
of enhanced and organized power. 87 

675 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

[The value of devaluing. — What I demand is] 88 that one 
should take the doer back into the deed after having conceptually 
removed the doer and thus emptied the deed; that one should take 
doing something, the “aim,” the “intention,” the “purpose,” back 
into the deed after having artificially removed all this and thus 
emptied the deed. 

All “purposes,” “aims,” “meaning” are only modes of ex- 
pression and metamorphoses of one will that is inherent in all 
events: the will to power. To have purposes, aims, intentions, 
willing in general, is the same thing as willing to be stronger, 
willing to grow — and, in addition, willing the means to this. 

The most universal and basic instinct in all doing and willing 
has for precisely this reason remained the least known and most 
hidden, because in praxi we always follow its commandments, 
because we are this commandment — 

All valuations are only consequences and narrow perspectives 
in the service of this one will: valuation itself is only this will to 
power. 

A critique of being from the point of view of any one of these 
values is something absurd and erroneous. Even supposing that a 
process of decline begins in this way, this process still stands in 
the service of this will. 

To appraise being itself! But this appraisal itself is still this 
being! — and if we say no, we still do what we are. 

One must comprehend the absurdity of this posture of judging 

” In the MS the text continues: “according to what happens in all events, 
a will for more . . .” 

“The words I have placed in brackets were added by Peter Gast. 




357 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

existence, and then try to understand what is really involved in it. 
It is symptomatic. 


676 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

On the Origin of Our Evaluations 

We can analyze our body spatially, and then we gain pre- 
cisely the same image of it as we have of the stellar system, and the 
distinction between the organic and inorganic is no longer notice- 
able. Formerly, one explained the motions of the stars as effects 
produced by entities conscious of a purpose. One no longer needs 
this explanation, and in regard to bodily motions and changes, too, 
one has long since abandoned the belief in an explanation by means 
of a consciousness that determines purposes. By far the greater 
number of motions have nothing whatever to do with consciousness; 
nor with sensation. Sensations and thoughts are something ex- 
tremely insignificant and rare in relation to the countless number 
of events that occur every moment. 

On the other hand, we perceive that a purposiveness rules 
over the smallest events that is beyond our understanding: planning, 
selectivity, co-ordination, reparation, etc. In short, we discover 
an activity that would have to be ascribed to a far higher and more 
comprehensive intellect than we know of. We learn to think less 
highly of all that is conscious; we unlearn responsibility for our- 
selves, since we as conscious, purposive creatures, are only the 
smallest part of us. Of the numerous influences operating at every 
moment, e.g., air, electricity, we sense almost nothing: there could 
well be forces that, although we never sense them, continually 
influence us. Pleasure and pain are very rare and scarce appear- 
ances compared with the countless stimuli that a cell or organ 
exercises upon another cel] or organ. 

We are in the phase of modesty of consciousness. Ultimately, 
we understand the conscious ego itself only as a tool in the service 
of a higher, comprehensive intellect; and then we are able to ask 
whether all conscious willing, all conscious purposes, all evaluations 
are not perhaps only means through which something essentially 
different from what appears in consciousness is to be achieved. We 

think: it is a question of our pleasure and displeasure but 

pleasure and displeasure could be means through which we have 
to achieve something that lies outside our consciousness. It 



358 


the will to power 


must be shown to what extent everything conscious remains on the 
surface; how an action and the image of an action differ, how little 
one knows of what precedes an action; how fantastic are our 
feelings of “freedom of will,” “cause and effect”; how thoughts 
and images are, like words, only signs of thoughts; the inexplic- 
ability of every action; the superficiality of all praise and blame; 
how essential fiction and conceits are in which we dwell con- 
sciously; how all our words refer to fictions (our affects, too), 
and how the bond between man and man depends on the trans- 
mission and elaboration of these fictions; while fundamentally 
the real bond (through procreation) goes its unknown way. Does 
this belief in common fictions really change men? Or is the entire 
realm of ideas and evaluations itself only an expression of unknown 
changes? Are there really will, purposes, thoughts, values? Is the 
whole of conscious life perhaps only a reflected image? And even 
when evaluation seems to determine the nature of a man, funda- 
mentally something quite different is happening! In short: supposing 
that purposiveness in the work of nature could be explained with- 
out the assumption of an ego that posits purposes: could our 
positing of purposes, our willing, etc., not perhaps be also only 
a language of signs for something altogether different, namely 
something that does not will and is unconscious? Only the faintest 
reflection of that natural expediency in the organic but not different 
from it? 

Put briefly: perhaps the entire evolution of the spirit is a 
question of the body; it is the history of the development of a 
higher body that emerges into our sensibility. The organic is 
rising to yet higher levels. Our lust for knowledge of nature is 
a means through which the body desires to perfect itself. Or rather: 
hundreds of thousands of experiments arc made to change the 
nourishment, the mode of living and of dwelling of the body; 
consciousness and evaluations in the body, all kinds of pleasure 
and displeasure, are signs of these changes and experiments. In 
the long run, it is not a question of man at all: he is to be overcome. 

677 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

To What Extent Interpretations of the World are 
Symptoms of a Ruling Drive 

The artistic view of the world: to sit down to contemplate 
life. But any analysis of the aesthetic outlook is lacking: its re- 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


359 


duction to cruelty, a feeling of security, playing the judge and 
standing outside, etc. One must examine the artist himself, and 
his psychology (critique of the drive to play as a release of force, 
a pleasure in change, in impressing one’s soul on something foreign, 
the absolute egoism of the artist, etc.) What drives he sublimates. 

The scientific view of the world: critique of the psychological 
need for science. The desire to make comprehensible; the desire 
to make practical, useful, exploitable — to what extent anti-aesthetic. 
Only value, what can be counted and calculated. How an average 
type of man seeks to gain the upper hand in this way. Dreadful 
when history is appropriated in this way — the realm of the superior, 
of those who judge. What drives they sublimate! 

The religious view of the world: critique of the religious man. 
He is not necessarily the moral man, but the man of powerful 
exaltations and deep depressions who interprets the former with 
gratitude or suspicion and does not derive them from himself 
( — not the latter either). Essentially the man who feels himself 
“unfree,” who sublimates his moods, his instincts of subjection. 

The moral view of the world: The feelings of a social order of 
rank are projected into the universe: irremovability, law, classifica- 
tion and co-ordination, because they are valued the highest, are 
also sought in the highest places — above the universe or behind 
the universe. 

What is common to all: the ruling drives want to be viewed 
also as the highest courts of value in general, indeed as creative 
and ruling powers. It is clear that these drives either oppose or 
subject each other (join together synthetically or alternate in 
dominating). Their profound antagonism is so great, however, 
that where they all seek satisfaction, a man of profound mediocrity 
must result. 


678 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Whether the origin of our apparent “knowledge” is not to be 
sought solely in older evaluations which have become so much 
part of us that they belong to our basic constitution? So that what 
really happens is only that newer needs grapple with the results of 
the oldest needs? 

The world seen, felt, interpreted as thus and thus so that 
organic life may preserve itself in this perspective of interpreta- 
tion. Man is not only a single individual but one particular line 



360 


THE WILL TO POWER 


of the total living organic world. That he endures proves that a 
species of interpretation (even though accretions are still being 
added) has also endured, that the system of interpretation has 
not changed. “Adaptation.” 

Our “dissatisfaction,” our “ideal,” etc., is perhaps the con- 
sequence of this incorporated piece of interpretation, of our per- 
spective point of view; perhaps organic life will in the end perish 
through it— even as the division of labor in organisms is ac- 
companied by a withering and weakening of the parts, and finally 
leads to the death of the whole. The destruction of organic life, 
even in its highest form, must follow the same pattern as the 
destruction of the individual. 

679 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Individuation, judged from the standpoint of the theory of 
descent, demonstrates a continual falling apart of one into two, 
and also the continual passing away of individuals who carry for- 
ward the evolution: by far the greater number die out every time 
(“the body”). 

The basic phenomenon: countless individuals sacrificed for the 
sake of a few, to make them possible. — One must not let oneself 
be deceived; it is just the same with peoples and races: they con- 
stitute the “body” for the production of isolated valuable indi- 
viduals, who carry on the great process. 

680 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Against the theory that the isolated individual has in view 
the advantage of the species, of his posterity, at the cost of his 
own advantage: that is only an appearance. 

The tremendous importance the individual accords to the 
sexual instinct is not a result of its importance for the species, 
but arises because procreation is the real achievement of the indi- 
vidual and consequently his highest interest, his highest expression 
of power (not judged from the consciousness but from the center 
of the whole individuation). 

681 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

Basic errors of biologists hitherto: it is not a question of the 



BOOK three: Principles of A New Evaluation 361 

species but of more powerful individuals. (The many are only a 
means). 

Life is not the adaptation of inner circumstances to outer 
ones, but will to power* which, working from within, incorporates 
and subdues more and more of that which is “outside.” 

These biologists carry forward moral evaluations ( — the 
“higher value of altruism,” hostility against the lust to dominate, 
against war, against what is not useful, against orders of rank and 
class) . 


682 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

In natural science* the moral depreciation of the ego goes 
hand in hand with an overestimation of the species. But the species 
is something just as illusory as the ego: one had made a false 
distinction. The ego is a hundred times more than merely a unit 
in the chain of members; it is this chain itself* entirely; and the 
species is a mere abstraction from the multiplicity of these chains 
and their partial similarity. That the individual is sacrificed to the 
species, as has so often been asserted, is certainly not a fact; 
rather only an example of false interpretation. 

683 (March-June 1888 ) 

Formula for the superstitious belief in “progress,” by a famous 
physiologist of the cerebral activities: 

“L‘ animal ne fait jamais de progris comme espece. L’homme 
seul fait de progres comme espece.” 0 * 

684 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Anti-Darwin. The domestication of man: what definite value 
can it have? or has domestication in general any definite value? — 
There are grounds for denying the latter. 

The school of Darwin certainly makes a great effort to con- 
vince us of the reverse: it wants to show that the effect of domes- 
tication can become profound, even fundamental. In the meantime, 
we stick to our old opinion: up to now, domestication has produced 
only quite superficial effects— when it has not produced degenera- 

" “Animals never progress as a species. Only riian progresses as a 
species.” 




362 


THE WILL TO POWER 


tion. And everything that eludes the hand and discipline of man 
returns almost at once to its natural state. The type remains con- 
stant: one cannot ‘“denaturer la nature.” 

One counts on the struggle for existence, the death of the 
weaker creatures and the survival of the most robust and gifted; 
consequently one imagines a continual growth in perfection. We 
have convinced ourselves, conversely, that in the struggle for 
existence chance serves the weak as well as the strong; that cunning 
often prevails over strength; that the fruitfulness of the species 
stands in a notable relation to its chances of destruction — 

One credits natural selection at the same time with the power 
of slow and endless metamorphosis; one wants to believe that 
every advantage is inherited and grows stronger and stronger with 
succeeding generations (whereas heredity is so capricious that—); 
one observes the fortunate adaptation of certain creatures to very 
special conditions of life, and one explains that these adaptations 
result from the influence of the milieu. 

But one nowhere finds any example o/ unconscious selection 
(absolutely not). The most disparate individuals unite with one 
another, the extremes are submerged in the mass. Everything com- 
petes to preserve its type; creatures with exterior markings to protect 
them from danger do not lose them when they encounter conditions 
in which they live without danger — When they live in places in 
which their dress ceases to hide them they do not by any means 
adapt to the new milieu. 

One has so exaggerated the selection of the most beautiful 
that it greatly exceeds the drive to beauty in our own race! In fact, 
the most beautiful mate with utterly disinherited creatures, and 
the biggest with the smallest. We almost always see males and 
females take advantage of any chance encounter, exhibiting no 
selectivity whatsoever. — Modification through food and climate 
—but in reality a matter of complete indifference. 

There are no transitional forms . — 

Different species derived from one. Experience says that one 
type becomes master again . 68 

One asserts the increasing evolution of creatures. All grounds 


""This paragraph is omitted in all editions, including Schlechta’s, but 
printed in the back of 1911, p. 508 /, with the explanation: “What is miss- 
ing in the text could be deciphered in full only recently, and is uncertain 
on account of its difficulty.” 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


363 


are lacking. Every type has its limits; beyond these there is no 
evolution. Up to this point, absolute regularity. 

Primitive creatures are said to be the ancestors of those 
now existing. But a look at the fauna and flora of the Tertiary 
merely permits us to think of an as yet unexplored country that 
harbors types that do not exist elsewhere, while those existing else- 
where are missing . 70 

* 

My general view.— First proposition: man as a species is not 
progressing. Higher types are indeed attained, but they do not 
last. The level of the species is not raised. 

Second proposition: man as a species does not represent 
any progress compared with any other animal. The whole ani- 
mal and vegetable kingdom does not evolve from the lower to 
the higher- — but all at the same time, in utter disorder, over and 
against each other. The richest and most complex forms — for 
the expression “higher type” means no more than this — perish 
more easily: only the lowest preserve an apparent indestructibility. 
The former are achieved only rarely and maintain their superi- 
ority with difficulty; the latter are favored by a compromising 
fruitfulness. 

Among men, too, the higher types, the lucky strokes of evolu- 
tion, perish most easily as fortunes change. They are exposed to 
every kind of decadence: they are extreme, and that almost means 
decadents. 

The brief spell of beauty, of genius, of Caesar, is sui generis: 
such things are not inherited. The type is hereditary; a type is 
nothing extreme, no “lucky stroke” — 

This is not due to any special fatality or malevolence of nature, 
but simply to the concept “higher type”: the higher type represents 
an incomparably greater complexity — a greater sum of co-ordin- 
ated elements: so its disintegration is also incomparably more likely. 
The “genius” is the sublimest machine there is — consequently the 
most fragile. 

Third proposition: the domestication (the “culture”) of man 
does not go deep — Where it does go deep it at once becomes 
degeneration (type: the Christian). The “savage” (or, in moral 

’“The immediately preceding note applies to this paragraph, too. The 
criticisms of Darwin should be compared with sections 647 and 685. 




364 


THE WILL TO POWER 


terms, the evil man) is a return to nature — and in a certain sense 
his recoyery, his cure from “culture” — 

685 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Anti-Darwin . — What surprises me most when I survey the 
broad destinies of man is that I always see before me the opposite 
of that which Darwin and his school see or want to see today: 
selection in favor of the stronger, better-constituted, and the prog- 
ress of the species. Precisely the opposite is palpable: the elimina- 
tion of the lucky strokes, the uselessness of the more highly 
developed types, the inevitable dominion of the average, even 
the sub-average types: If we are not shown Why man should be 
an exception among creatures, I incline to the prejudice that the 
school of Darwin has been deluded everywhere. 

That will to power in which I recognize the ultimate ground 
and character of all change provides us with the reason why selec- 
tion is not in favor of the exceptions and lucky strokes: the 
strongest and most fortunate are Weak when opposed by organized 
herd instincts, by the timidity of the weak, by the vast majority. 
My general view of the world of values shows that it is not the 
lucky strokes, the select types, that have the upper hand in the 
supreme values that are today placed over mankind; rather it is 
the decadent types— perhaps there is nothing in the world more in- 
teresting than this unwelcome spectacle — 

Strange though it may sound, one always has to defend 71 the 
strong against the weak; the fortunate against the unfortunate; the 
healthy against those degenerating and afflicted with hereditary 
taints. If one translates reality into a morality, this morality is: 
the mediocre are worth more than the exceptions; the decadent 
forms more than the mediocre; the will to nothingness has the 
upper hand over the will to life — and the overall aim is, in 
Christian, Buddhist, Schopenhauerian terms: “better not to be 
than to be.” 

I rebel against the translation of reality into a morality: 
therefore I abhor Christianity with a deadly hatred, because it 
created sublime words and gestures to throw over a horrible 
reality the cloak of justice, virtue, and divinity — 

“The printed text has “prove” ( beweisen ); but the word is illegible, 
and this is a mere conjecture (1911, p. 509) and makes little sense. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


365 


I see all philosophers, I see science kneeling before a real- 
ity that is the reverse of the struggle for existence as taught by 
Darwin’s school — that is to say, I see on top and surviving 
everywhere those Who compromise life and the value of life. — 
The error of the school of Darwin becomes a problem to me: 
how can one be so blind as to see so badly at this point? 

That species represent any progress is the most unreasonable 
assertion in the world: so far they represent one level. That the 
higher organisms have evolved from the lower has not been dem- 
onstrated in a single case. I see how the lower preponderate 
through their numbers, their shrewdness, their cunning — I do not 
see how an accidental variation gives an advantage, at least not 
for so long a period; why an accidental change should grow so 
strong would be something else needing explanation. 

I find the “cruelty of nature,” of which so much is said, in 
another place: she is cruel towards her children of fortune, she 
spares and protects and loves les humbles, just as — 72 

In summa: growth in the power of a species is perhaps guar- 
anteed less by a preponderance of its children of fortune, of strong 
members, than by a preponderance of average and lower types — 
The latter possess great fruitfulness and duration; with the former 
comes an increase in danger, rapid wastage, speedy reduction in 
numbers. 


686 { 1884 ) 

Man hitherto — as it were, an embryo of the man of the 
future; — all the form-giving forces directed toward the latter are 
present in the former; and because they are tremendous, the more 
a present-day individual determines the future, the more he will 
suffer. This is the profoundest conception of suffering: the form- 
giving forces are in painful collision.-^- The isolation of the indi- 
vidual ought not to deceive us: something flows on underneath 
individuals. That the individual feels himself isolated is itself the 
most powerful goad in the process towards the most distant goals: 
his search for his happiness is the means that holds together and 
moderates the form-giving forces, so they do not destroy them- 
selves. 


“ “Just as” is omitted in all editions. 



366 


THE WILL TO POWER 


687 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Superabundant force in spirituality, setting itself new goals; 
by no means merely commanding and leading on behalf of the 
lower world or the preservation of the organism, the “individual.” 
We are more than the individuals: we are the whole chain as 
well, with the tasks of all the futures of that chain. 


3. Theory of the Will to Power and of Values 

688 {March-June 1888) 

Unitary conception of psychology . — We are accustomed to 
consider the development of an immense abundance of forms 
compatible with an origin in unity. 

[My theory would be: — ] 73 that the will to power is the 
primitive form of affect, that all other affects are only develop- 
ments of it; 

that it is notably enlightening to posit power in place of 
individual “happiness” (after which every living thing is supposed 
to be striving): “there is a striving for power, for an increase 
of power”; — pleasure is only a symptom of the feeling of power 
attained, a consciousness of a difference ( — there is no striving 
for pleasure: but pleasure supervenes when that which is being 
striven for is attained: pleasure is an accompaniment, pleasure 
is not the motive—); 

that all driving force is will to power, that there is no other 
physical, dynamic or psychic force except this. 

In our science, where the concept of cause and effect is 
redued to the relationship of equivalence, with the object of 
proving that the same quantum of force is present on both sides, 
the driving force is lacking: we observe only results, and we 
consider them equivalent in content and force 74 — 

’’The words I have placed in brackets were added by the German 
editors but are uncritically reproduced in all editions, including Schlechta’s, 

These ideas, as well as many of those developed in the following 
sections, down through 715, are discussed in Chapter 9, “Power versus 
Pleasure,” of my Nietzsche. 

"The immediately following words in the MS are omitted in all edi- 
tions: “We spare ourselves the question of the simplification of a change. . . 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


367 


It is simply a matter of experience that change never ceases: 
we have not the slightest inherent reason for assuming that one 
change must follow upon another. On the contrary: a condition 
once achieved would seem to be obliged to preserve itself if there 
were not in it a capacity for desiring not to preserve itself — 
Spinoza’s law of “self-preservation” ought really to put a stop 
to change: but this law is false, the opposite is true. It can be 
shown most clearly that every living thing does everything it can 
not to preserve itself but to become more — 


689 ( March-June 1888) 

Critique of the concept: cause. 78 — From a psychological 
point of view the concept “cause” is our feeling of power result- 
ing from the so-called act of will — our concept “effect” the 
superstition that this feeling of power is the motive power itself — 

A condition that accompanies an event and is itself an effect 
of the event is projected as the “sufficient reason” for the event; — 
the relation of tensions in our feeling of power (pleasure as the 
feeling of power), of a resistance overcome — are they illusions? — 

If we translate the concept “cause” back to the only sphere 
known to us, from which we have derived it, we cannot imagine 
any change that does not involve a will to power. We do "not 
know how to explain a change except as the encroachment of 
one power upon another power. 

Mechanics shows us only the results, and then only in images 
(motion is a figure of speech). Gravity itself has no mechanistic 
cause, since it itself is the ground of mechanistic results. 

The will to accumulate force is special to the phenomena of 
life, to nourishment, procreation, inheritance — to society, state, 
custom, authority. Should we not be permitted to assume this 
will as a motive cause in chemistry, too? — and in the cosmic 
order? 

Not merely conservation of energy, but maximal economy in 
use, so the only reality is the will to grow stronger of every 
center of force — not self-preservation, but the will to appropriate, 
dominate, increase, grow stronger. 

The possibility of science should be proved by a principle 


“ I have restored the title found in the MS. In the printed texts a title 
devised by Peter Gast has been substituted: “Will to power and causalism.” 



368 


THE WILL TO POWER 


of causality? 76 “From like causes like effects’’-^- “A permanent 
law governing things” — “An invariable order”? — Because some- 
thing is calculable, does that mean it is necessary? 

If something happens thus and not otherwise, that does not 
imply a “principle,” “law,” "order,” [but the operation of] 77 
quanta of force the essence of which consists in exercising power 
against other quanta of force. 

Can we assume a striving for power divorced from a sensa- 
tion of pleasure and displeasure, i.e., divorced from the feeling 
of enhanced or diminished power? Is mechanism only a sign 
language for the internal factual world of struggling and conquer- 
ing quanta of will? All the presuppositions of mechanistic theory 
— matter, atom, gravity, pressure and stress— are not “facts-in- 
themselves” but interpretations with the aid of psychical fictions. 

Life, as the form of being most familiar to us, is specifically 
a will to the accumulation of force; all the processes of life 
depend on this: nothing wants to preserve itself, everything is 
to be added and accumulated. 

Life as a special case (hypothesis based upon it applied to 
the total character of being—) strives after a maximal feeling 
of power; essentially a striving for more power; striving is noth- 
ing other than striving for power; the basic and innermost thing 
is still this will. (Mechanics is merely the semeiotics of the 
results.) 


690 {Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

One cannot discover the cause of there being any evolution 
at all by studying evolution; one should not wish to think of it 
as “becoming,” even less as having become — The “will to power” 
cannot have become. 


691 ( 1885-1886 ) 

What has been the relation of the total organic process to 

” At this point the following marginal comment is found in the MS: 
"Over the belief in cause and effect one always forgets the main thing: the 
event itself. One has posited an agent, one has hypothesized the event again,” 
The reading is uncertain. 

"The words I have placed in brackets are found in all editions but 
not in the MS. 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 369 

the rest of nature? — That is where its fundamental will stands 
revealed. 


692 (March-June 1888) 

Is “will to power” a kind of “will” or identical with the 
concept “will”? Is it the same thing as desiring? or commanding ? 
Is it that “will” of which Schopenhauer said it was the “in-itself 
of things”? 

My proposition is: that the will of psychology hitherto is 
an unjustified generalization, that this will does not exist at all, 
that instead of grasping the idea of the development of one 
definite will into many forms, one has eliminated the character 
of the will by subtracting from it its content, its “whither?” — this 
is in the highest degree the case with Schopenhauer, what he 
calls “will” is a mere empty word. It is even less a question of a 
“will to live”; for life is merely a special case of the will to power; 
— it is quite arbitrary to assert that everything strives to enter into 
this form of the will to power. 

693 ( March-June 1888 ) 

If the innermost essence of being is will to power, if pleasure 
is every increase of power, displeasure every feeling of not being 
able to resist or dominate; may we not then posit pleasure and 
displeasure as cardinal facts? Is will possible without these two 
oscillations of Yes and No? — But who feels pleasure? — - But 
who wants power? — Absurd question, if the essence itself is 
power- will and consequently feelings of pleasure and displeasure! 
Nonetheless: opposites, obstacles are needed; therefore, relatively, 
encroaching units — 

694 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The measure of failure and fatality must grow with the 
resistance a force seeks to master; and as a force can expend 
itself only on what resists it, there is necessarily an ingredient of 
displeasure in every action. But this displeasure acts as a lure of 
life and strengthens the will to power! 



370 


THE WILL TO POWER 


695 ( March-June 1888 ) 

If pleasure and displeasure relate to the feeling of power, 
then life must represent a growth in power, so that the difference 
caused by this growth must enter consciousness — If one level 
of power were maintained, pleasure would have only lowerings 
of this level by which to set its standards, only states of displeas- 
ure — not states of pleasure — The will to grow is of the essence 
of pleasure: that power increases, that the difference enters con- 
sciousness. 

From a certain point onwards, in decadence, the opposite 
difference enters consciousness, the decrease: the memory of 
former moments of strength depresses present feelings of pleasure 
— comparison now weakens pleasure. 

696 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

It is not the satisfaction of the will that causes pleasure 
(I want to fight this superficial theory — the absurd psychological 
counterfeiting of the nearest things — ), but rather the will’s for- 
ward thrust and again and again becoming master over that which 
stands in its way. The feeling of pleasure lies precisely in the 
dissatisfaction of the will, in the fact that the will is never satis- 
fied unless it has opponents and resistance. — “The happy man”: 
a herd ideal. 


697 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The normal dissatisfaction of our drives, e.g., hunger, the 
sexual drive, the drive to motion, contains in it absolutely nothing 
depressing; it works rather as an agitation of the feeling of life, 
as every rhythm of small, painful stimuli strengthens it, (whatever 
pessimists may say). This dissatisfaction, instead of making one 
disgusted with life, is the great stimulus to life. 

(One could perhaps describe pleasure in general as a rhythm 
of little unpleasurable stimuli.) 

698 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

Kant said: “I subscribe entirely to these sentences of Count 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


371 


Verri (Sail' indole del piacere e del dolor e; 1781): II solo prin- 
cipio motore dell’ uomo e il dolore. II dolore precede ogni piacere. 
II piacere non e un essere positivo”™ 

699 {March- June 1888) 

Pain is something different from pleasure — I mean it is not 
its opposite. 

If the essence of “pleasure” has been correctly described as 
a feeling of more power (hence as a feeling of difference, pre- 
supposing a comparison), this does not yet furnish a definition of 
the essence of “displeasure.” The false opposites in which the 
people, and consequently language, believes, have always been 
dangerous hindrances to the advance of truth. There are even 
cases in which a kind of pleasure is conditioned by a certain 
rhythmic sequence of little unpleasurable stimuli: in this way a 
very rapid increase of the feeling of power, the feeling of pleasure, 
is achieved. This is the case, e.g., in tickling, also the sexual tickling 
in the act of coitus: here we see displeasure at work as an in- 
gredient of pleasure. It seems, a little hindrance that is overcome 
and immediately followed by another little hindrance that is again 
overcome — this game of resistance and victory arouses most 
strongly that general feeling of superabundant, excessive power 
that constitutes the essence of pleasure. 

The opposite, an increase in the sensation of pain through 
the introduction of little pleasurable stimuli, is lacking; for pleasure 
and pain are not opposites. 

Pain is an intellectual occurrence in which a definite judgment 
is expressed- — the judgment " harmful ” in which a long experience 
is summarized. There is no pain as such. It is not being wounded 
that hurts; but the experience of the bad consequences being 
wounded can have for the whole organism expresses itself in that 
profound shock that is called displeasure; (in the case of harm- 
ful influences with which former men were unacquainted, e.g., 
those of new combinations of poisonous chemicals, pain bears 
no witness — and we are lost). 

The really specific thing in pain is always the protracted 
shock, the lingering vibrations of a terrifying choc in the cerebral 
center of the nervous system:-— one does not really suffer from 

" On the Nature of Pleasure and Pain: The only moving principle of 
man is pain. Pain precedes every pleasure. Pleasure is not a positive state. 



372 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the cause of pain (any sort of injury, for example), but from the 
protracted disturbance of equilibrium that occurs as a result of 
the choc. Pain is a sickness of the cerebral nerve centers — pleasure 
is certainly not a sickness. 

That pain is the cause of reflex actions has appearance and 
even the prejudice of philosophers in its favor; but, if one observes 
it closely, in cases of sudden pain the reflex comes noticeably 
earlier than the sensation of pain. It would go ill with me if, when 
I stumbled, I had to wait for the fact to ring the bell of con- 
sciousness and for instructions how to act to be telegraphed back. 
What I notice with the greatest possible clarity is rather that 
the reflex of my foot follows first to prevent my falling, and then, 
at a measurable distance in time, the sudden sensation of a kind 
of painful wave in the front part of my head. Thus one does not 
react to the pain. Pain is subsequently projected to the wounded 
place — but the nature of this local pain is nonetheless not an ex- 
pression of the kind of the local injury; it is a mere place-sign 
corresponding to the force and pitch of the injury the nerve centers 
have received. That as a result of this choc the muscular strength 
of the organism is measurably lowered does not warrant our 
seeking the essence of pain in a diminution of the feeling of power. 

To repeat it again, one does not react to pain; displeasure is 
not a “cause” of action. Pain itself is a reaction, the reflex is 
another and earlier reaction — both originate in different places — 

700 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Intellectual nature of pain: it does not indicate what has 
been damaged at the moment, but the value of the damage in 
relation to the individual as a whole. 

Whether there are pains from which “the species” and not the 
individual suffers — ■? 

701 (Nov. 1887-March 1883 ) 

“The sum of displeasure outweighs the sum of pleasure; 
consequently it would be better if the world did not exist” — “The 
world is something that rationally should not exist because it 
causes the feeling subject more displeasure than pleasure” — chatter 
of this sort calls itself pessimism today! 

Pleasure and displeasure are accidentals, not causes; they are 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


373 


value judgments of the second rank, derived from a ruling value — 
“useful,” “harmful,” speaking in the form of feelings, and con- 
sequently absolutely sketchy and dependent. For with every “use- 
ful,” “harmful,” one still has to ask in a hundred different ways: 
“for what?” 

I despise this pessimism of sensibility : it is itself a sign of 
deeply impoverished life. 79 

702 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Man does not seek pleasure and does not avoid displeasure: 
one will realize which famous prejudice I am contradicting. 
Pleasure and displeasure are mere consequences, mere epiphenom- 
ena— what man wants, what every smallest part of a living 
organism wants, is an increase of power. Pleasure or displeasure 
follow from the striving after that; driven by that will it seeks 
resistance, it needs something that opposes it — Displeasure, as 
an obstacle to its will to power, is therefore a normal fact, the 
normal ingredient of every organic event; man does not avoid 
it, he is rather in continual need of it; every victory, every feeling 
of pleasure, every event, presupposes a resistance overcome. 

Let us take the simplest case, that of primitive nourishment: 
the protoplasm extends it pseudopodia in search of something that 
resists it — not from hunger but from will to power. 80 Thereupon 
it attempts to overcome, appropriate, assimilate what it encounters: 
what one calls “nourishment” is merely a derivative phenomenon, 
an application of the original will to become stronger. 

Displeasure thus does not merely not have to result in a 
diminution of our feeling of power, but in the average case it 
actually stimulates this feeling of power — the obstacle is the 
stimulus of this will to power. 

703 ( March-June 1888) 

One has confused displeasure with one kind of displeasure, 

"The MS continues: “I shall never permit such a meager [ ] as 

Hartmann to speak of his ‘philosophical pessimism.’ ” Printed in 191 1, p. 509, 
with the noun omitted. Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906) tried to synthe- 
size Schopenhauer and Hegel. His books include Philosophie des Unbewuss- 
ten ( Philosophy of the Unconscious), 1869; 12th ed., 1923. 

“The words that immediately follow in the MS have been omitted in 
all editions: “Duality as the consequence of too weak a unity.” 



374 


THE WILL TO POWER 


with exhaustion; the latter does indeed represent a profound 
diminution and reduction of the will to power, a measurable loss 
of force. That is to say: there exists (a) displeasure as a means of 
stimulating the increase of power, and (b) displeasure following an 
overexpenditure of power; in the first case a stimulus, in the second 
the result of an excessive stimulation — Inability to resist is charac- 
teristic of the latter kind of displeasure: a challenge to that which 
resists belongs to the former — The only pleasure still felt in the 
condition of exhaustion is falling asleep; victory is the pleasure 
in the other case — 

The great confusion on the part of psychologists consisted 
in not distinguishing beween these two kinds of pleasure — that of 
falling asleep and that of victory. The exhausted want rest, relax- 
ation, peace, calm — the happiness of the nihilistic religions and 
philosophies; the rich and living want victory, opponents over- 
come, the overflow of the feeling of power across wider domains 
than hitherto. All healthy functions of the organism have this 
need — and the whole organism 81 is such a complex of systetns 
struggling for an increase of the feeling of power 

704 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

How does it happen that the basic articles of faith in psychol- 
ogy are one and all the most arrant misrepresentations and coun- 
terfeits? “Man strives after happiness,” e.g. — how much of that 
is true? In order to understand what “life” is, what kind of striving 
and tension life is, the formula must apply as well to trees and 
plants as to animals. “What does a plant strive after?” — but here 
we have already invented a false unity which does not exist: the 
fact of a millionfold growth with individual and semi-individual 
initiatives is concealed and denied if we begin by positing a crude 
unity “plant.” That the very smallest “individuals” cannot be under- 
stood in the sense of a “metaphysical individuality” and atom, that 
their spere of power is continually changing — that is the first thing 
that becomes obvious; but does each of them strive after happiness 
when it changes in this way? — 

But all expansion, incorporation, growth means striving 
against something that resists; motion is essentially tied up with 

“The words that immediately follow in the MS have been omitted in 
all editions: “up to the age of puberty." 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


375 


states of displeasure; that which is here the driving force must in 
any event desire something else if it desires displeasure in this way 
and continually looks for it. — For what do the trees in a jungle 
fight each other? For “happiness”? — For power ! — 

Man, become master over the forces of nature, master over 
his own savagery and licentiousness (the desires have learned to 
obey and be useful) — man, in comparison with a pre-man — repre- 
sents a tremendous quantum of power— -not an increase in “happi- 
ness”! How can one claim that he has striven for happiness? — 

705 (1883-1888)™ 

As I say this I see above me, glittering under the stars, the 
tremendous rat’s tail of errors that has hitherto counted as the 
highest inspiration of humanity: “All happiness is a consequence 
of virtue, all virtue is a consequence of free will!” 

Let us reverse the values : all fitness the result of fortunate 
organization, all freedom the result of fitness ( — freedom here 
understood as facility in self-direction. Every artist will understand 
me). 


706 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

“The value of life.”— Life is a unique case; one must justify 
all existence and not only life— the justifying principle 83 is one that 
explains life, too. 

Life is only a means to something; it is the expression of forms 
of the growth of power. 

707 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

The “conscious world” cannot serve as a starting point for 
values: need for an “objective” positing of values. 

In relation to the vastness and multiplicity of collaboration 
and mutual opposition encountered in the life of every organism. 


" In the MS this section follows immediately upon the text of Twilight, 
"The Four Great Errors,” section 2. 

*’ “The last three lines are crossed out in the MS”: 1911, p. 510. Unless 
“three” is a misprint (for two), the deletion would begin at the point indi- 
cated. 




376 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the conscious world of feelings, intentions, and valuations is a small 
section. We have no right whatever to posit this piece of conscious- 
ness as the aim and wherefore of this total phenomenon of life: 
becoming conscious is obviously only one more means toward the 
unfolding and extension of the power of life. Therefore it is a 
piece of naivete to posit pleasure or spirituality or morality or any 
other particular of the sphere of consciousness as the highest value 
— and perhaps even to justify “the world” by means of this. 

This is my basic objection to all philosophic-moralistic cosmo- 
and theodicies, to all wherefores and highest values in philosophy 
and theology hitherto. One kind of means has been misunderstood 
as an end; conversely, life and the enhancement of its power has 
been debased to a means. 

If we wished to postulate a goal adequate to life, it could not 
coincide with any category of conscious life; it would rather have 
to explain all of them as a means to itself — 

The “denial of life” as an aim of life, an aim of evolution! 
Existence as a great stupidity! Such a lunatic interpretation is only 
the product of measuring life by aspects of consciousness (pleasure 
and displeasure, good and evil). Here the means are made to 
stand against the end — the “unholy,” absurd, above all unpleasant 
means — : how can an end that employs such means be worth 
anything! But the mistake is that, instead of looking for a purpose 
that explains the necessity of such means, we presuppose in advance 
a goal that actually excludes such means; i.e., we take a desideratum 
in respect of certain means (namely pleasant, rational, and virtu- 
ous ones) as a norm, on the basis of which we posit what general 
purpose would be desirable — 

The fundamental mistake is simply that, instead of understand- 
ing consciousness as a tool and particular aspect of the total life, 
we posit it as the standard and the condition of life that is of 
supreme value: it is the erroneous perspective of a parte ad totum 8i 
— which is why all philosophers are instinctively trying to imagine 
a total consciousness, a consciousness involved in all life and will, 
in all that occurs, a “spirit,” “God.” But one has to tell them that 
precisely this turns life into a monstrosity; that a “God” and total 
sensorium would altogether be something on account of which life 
would have to be condemned — Precisely that we have eliminated 
the total consciousness that posited ends and means, is our great 


“ From a part to the whole. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 377 

relief — with that we are no longer compelled to be pessimists — 
Our greatest reproach against existence was the existence of God — 

708 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

[On the value of “becoming.” — ] 85 If the motion of the world 
aimed at a final state, that state would have been reached. The sole 
fundamental fact, however, is that it does not aim at a final state; 
and every philosophy and scientific hypothesis (e.g., mechanistic 
theory) which necessitates such a final state is refuted by this funda- 
mental fact. 

I seek a conception of the world that takes this fact into 
account. Becoming must be explained without recourse to final 
intentions; becoming must appear justified at every moment (or 
incapable of being evaluated; which amounts to the same thing); 
the present must absolutely not be justified by reference to a future, 
nor the past by reference to the present, “Necessity” not in the 
shape of an overreaching, dominating total force, or that of a 
prime mover; even less as a necessary condition for something 
valuable. To this end it is necessary to deny a total consciousness 
of becoming, a “God,” to avoid bringing all events under the aegis 
of a being who feels and knows but does not will: “God” is useless 
if he does not want anything, and moreover this means positing a 
summation of displeasure and unlogic which would debase the 
total value of “becoming.” Fortunately such a summarizing power 
is missing ( — a suffering and all-seeing God, a “total sensorium” 
and “cosmic spirit” 86 would be the greatest objection to being). 

More strictly: one must admit nothing that has being — 
because then becoming would lose its value and actually appear 
meaningless and superfluous. 

Consequently one must ask how the illusion of being could 
have arisen (was bound to arise); 

likewise: how all value judgments that rest on the hypothesis 
that there are beings are disvalued. 

But here one realizes that this hypothesis of beings is the 
source of all world-defamation ( — the “better world,” the “true 
world,” the “world beyond,” the “thing-in-itself.”) 


" This title was inserted by Peter Gast. 
** “Allgeist." 


378 


THE WILL TO POWER 


1. Becoming does not aim at a final state, does not flow into 
“being.” 

2. Becoming is not a merely apparent state; perhaps the 
world of beings is mere appearance. 

3. Becoming is of equivalent value every moment; the sum 
of its values always remains the same; in other words, it has no 
value at all, for anything against which to measure it, and in 
relation to which the word “value” would have meaning, is lack- 
ing. The total value of the world cannot be evaluated; consequently 
philosophical pessimism belongs among comical things. 

709 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

That we do not make our “ desiderata ” judges of being! 

That we do not also set up terminal forms of evolution (e.g., 
spirit) as another “in-itself” behind evolution! 

710 ( March-June 1888) 

Our knowledge has become scientific to the extent that it is 
able to employ number and measure. The attempt should be made 
to see whether a scientific order of values could be constructed 
simpiy on a numerical and mensural scale of force — All other 
“values” are prejudices, naiveties, misunderstandings. — They are 
everywhere reducible to this numerical and mensural scale of force. 
The ascent on this scale represents every rise in value; the descent 
on this scale represents diminution in value. 

Here one has appearance and prejudice against one. (For 
moral values are only apparent values compared with physiologi- 
cal values.) 


711 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Where the point of view of “value” is inadmissible: — 

That in the “process of the totality” the labor of man is of 
no account, because a total process (considered as a system — ) 
does not exist at all; 

that there is no “totality”; that no evaluation of human 
existence, of human aims, can be made in regard to something 
that does not exist; 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


379 


that “necessity,” “causality,” “purposiveness,” are useful un- 
realities; 61 

that not “increase in consciousness” is the aim, but enhance- 
ment of power — and in this enhancement the utility of conscious- 
ness is included; the same applies to pleasure and displeasure; 

that one does not take the means as the supreme measure of 
value (therefore not states of consciousness, such as pleasure and 
pain, if becoming conscious itself is only a means—) ; 

that the world is not an organism at all, but chaos; that the 
evolution of “spirituality” is only a means towards the relative 
duration of the organization; 

that all “desirability” has no meaning in relation to the total 
character of being. 


712 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

“God” as the moment of culmination: existence an eternal 
deifying and un-deifying. But in that not a high point of value, 
but a high point of power. 

Absolute exclusion of mechanism and matter: both are only 
expressions of lower stages, the most despiritualized form of affect 
(of “will to power ”). 88 

Retreat from the high-point in becoming (the highest spir- 
itualization of power on the most slavish ground) to be repre- 
sented as a consequence of this highest force, which, turning 
against itself when it no longer has anything left to organize, 
expends its force on disorganization — 

a. The ever-increasing conquest of societies and subjection 
of them by a smaller but more powerful number; 

b. the ever-increasing conquest of the priviliged and stronger 

" Niitzliche “Scheinbarkeiten.” 

"The words that immediately follow in the MS have been omitted in 
all editions: 

‘The world made stupid, as an aim, as a consequence of the will to 
power which makes the elements as independent of each other as possible. 
Beauty as a sign of the habituation and pampering [Gew&hnung und Ver- 
wohnung] of the victorious; what is ugly as the expression of many defeats 
(within the organism). No heredity! The chain as a whole changing — ” 

On the margin of the same page: 

“ ‘Beautiful’ has a delightful effect on the feeling of pleasure; one need 
only think of the transfiguring power of ‘love.’ Might not the transfigured 
and perfect, conversely, mildly excite sensuality, so life has the effect of a 
pleasant feeling? — •” 




380 


THE WILL TO POWER 


and the consequent rise of democracy, and ultimately anarchy of 
the elements. 


713 (March- June 1888) 

Value is the highest quantum of power that a man is able 
to incorporate — a man: not mankind! Mankind is even a means 
sooner than an end. It is a question of the type: mankind is 
merely the experimental material, the tremendous surplus of fail- 
ures: a field of ruins. 89 

714 (Manuscript source uncertain ) 

Value words are banners raised where a new bliss has been 
found — a new jeeling. 

715 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The standpoint of “value” is the standpoint of conditions of 
preservation and enhancement for complex forms of relative life- 
duration within the flux of becoming. 

There are no durable ultimate units, no atoms, no monads: 
here, too, “beings” are only introduced by us (from perspective 
grounds of practicality and utility). 

“Forms of domination”; the sphere of that which is domi- 
nated continually growing or periodically increasing and decreas- 
ing according to the favorability or unfavorability of circumstances 
(nourishment — ) . 

“Value” is essentially the standpoint for the increase or 
decrease of these dominating centers (“multiplicities” in any case; 
but “units” are nowhere present in the nature of becoming). 90 

Linguistic means of expression are useless for expressing 
“becoming”; it accords with our inevitable need to preserve our- 
selves to posit a crude world of stability, of “things,” etc. We may 
venture to speak of atoms and monads in a relative sense; and 

"The image of the field of ruins is also found in the early “meditation” 
on Schopenhauer as Educator (1874), section 6. For detailed discussion see 
my Nietzsche, Chapter 5, section III. 

"The words that immediately follow in the MS are omitted in all edi- 
tions: “ — a quantum of power, a becoming, in so far as none of it has the 
character of ‘being’ — in so far — ” 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 381 

it is certain that the smallest world is the most durable — There 
is no will: there are treaty drafts of will 91 that are constantly 
increasing or losing their power. 

*' Willens-Punktationen: meaning unclear; perhaps the point is that the 
will is not a single entity but more like a constantly shifting federation or 
alliance of drives. 




III. THE WILL TO POWER AS 
SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUAL 

1. Society and State 

716 (March- June 1888 ) 

Basic principle: only individuals feel themselves responsible. 
Multiplicities are invented in order to do things for which the 
individual lacks the courage. It is for just this reason that all com- 
munalities and societies are a hundred times more upright and 
instructive about the nature of man than is the individual, who 
is too weak to have the courage for his own desires — 

The whole of “altruism” reveals itself as the prudence of 
the private man: societies are not “altruistic” towards one another — 
The commandment to love one’s neighbor has never yet been 
extended to include one’s actual neighbor. That relationship is 
still governed by the words of Manu: “We must consider all coun- 
tries that have common borders with us, and their allies, too, as 
our enemies. For the same reason, we must count all their neigh- 
bors as being well-disposed toward us.” 

The study of society is so invaluable because man as society 
is much more naive than man as a “unit.” ‘“Society” has never 
regarded virtue as anything but a means to strength, power, and 
order. 

How simple and dignified is Manu when he says: “Virtue 
could scarcely endure by its own strength. Fundamentally it is 
only the fear of punishment that keeps men within bounds and 
leaves everyone in peaceful possession of his own,” 92 

717 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

The state organized immorality — internally, as police, penal 
law, classes, commerce, family; externally : as will to power, to 
war, to conquest, to revenge. 

How does it happen that the state will do a host of things 
ihat the individual would never countenance? — Through division 
of responsibility, of command, and of execution. Through the 
interposition of the virtues of obedience, duty, patriotism, and 

“The two quotations — in the second and in the last paragraphs — were 
inserted by Peter Gast. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


383 


loyalty. Through upholding pride, severity, strength, hatred, revenge 
— in short, all typical characteristics that contradict the herd type. 

718 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

None of you has the courage to kill a man, or even to whip 
him, or even to — but the tremendous machine of the state over- 
powers the individual, so he repudiates responsibility for what 
he does (obedience, oath, etc.) 

— Everything a man does in the service of the state is con- 
trary to his nature. 

— in the same way, everything he learns with a view to future 
state service is contrary to his nature. 

This is achieved through division of labor (so that no one 
any longer possesses the full responsibility): 

the lawgiver — and he who enacts the law; 

the teacher of discipline — and those who have grown hard 
and severe under discipline. 

719 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

A division of labor among the affects within society: so indi- 
viduals and classes produce an incomplete, but for that reason more 
useful kind of soul. To what extent certain affects have remained 
almost rudimentary in every type within society (with a view to 
developing another affect more strongly). 

Justification of morality: 

economic (the intention to exploit individual strength to 
the greatest possible extent to prevent the squandering 
of everything exceptional); 

aesthetic (the formation of firm types, together with pleasure 
in one’s own type); 

political (the art of enduring the tremendous tension between 
differing degrees of power); 

physiological (as a pretended high evaluation in favor of the 
underprivileged or mediocre — for the preservation of the 
weak). 


720 (1886-1887) 


The most fearful and fundamental desire in man, bis drive 



384 


THE WILL TO POWER 


for power — this drive is called “freedom” — must be held in 
check the longest. This is why ethics, with its unconscious instinct 
for education and breeding, has hitherto aimed at holding the 
desire for power in check: it disparages the tyrannical individual 
and with its glorification of social welfare and patriotism emphasizes 
the power-instinct of the herd. 

721 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Inability to acquire power: its hypocrisy and shrewdness: 
as obedience (subordination, pride in duty, morality — ); as sub- 
mission, devotion, love (idealization, deification of him who 
commands as compensation and indirect self-transfiguration); as 
fatalism, resignation; as “objectivity”; as self-tyranny (Stoicism, 
asceticism, “emancipation from the self,” “sanctification”); as 
criticism, pessimism, indignation, torment; as “beautiful soul,” 
“virtue,” “self-deification,” “detachment,” “unspotted by the 
world,” etc, ( — the insight into an inability to acquire power 
disguised as dedain). In all this there is expressed the need to 
exercise some sort of power nonetheless, or to create for one- 
self the temporary appearance of power — as intoxication. 

Men who want power for the sake of the happiness power 
provides: political parties. 

Other men who want power even accompanied by obvious 
disadvantages and sacrifices in happiness and well-being: the 
ambitious. 

Other men who want power merely because it would other- 
wise fall into other hands upon which they do not want to be 
dependent. 


722 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Critique of “justice” and “equality before the law”: what is 
really supposed to be abolished through this? Tension, enmity, 
hatred. — But it is an error to suppose that “happiness” will be 
increased in this way: Corsicans, e.g., enjoy more happiness 
than Continentals. 

723 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Reciprocity, the hidden intention to claim reward: one of the 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


385 


most insidious forms of the diminution of the value of man. It 
brings with it that “equality” which depreciates the distancing 
gulf as immoral — 


724 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

What “useful” means is entirely dependent upon the inten- 
tion, the wherefore? The intention, the “goal,” is again entirely 
dependent on the degree of power. Therefore utilitarianism is not 
a foundation but only a theory of consequences, and absolutely 
cannot be made obligatory for everyone. 

725 ( Summer-Fall 1883 ) 

Formerly one had the theory of the state as a calculating 
utility: now one has the practice as well! — The age of kings is 
past because the peoples are no longer worthy of them: they do 
not want to see the symbol of their ideal in kings, but a means 
for their profit. — That is the whole truth! 

726 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Attempt on my part to grasp the absolute rationality of 
social judgment and evaluation (naturally without the desire to 
deduce moral conclusions). 

the degree of psychological falsity and opacity needed to 
sanctify the affects essential for preservation and enhancement of 
power (in order to create a good conscience for them). 

the degree of stupidity needed to maintain the possibility of 
common rules and valuations (in addition education, supervision 
of the elements of culture, training). 

the degree of inquisition, mistrust, and intolerance needed to 
deal with the exceptions as criminals and to suppress them — to 
give them a bad conscience, so they suffer their exceptionalness 
as a disease. 


727 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Morality essentially a shield, a means of defense; to this 
extent a sign of the immature (armored, stoical). 

The mature man has, above all, weapons: he attacks. 



386 


THE WILL TO POWER 


Instruments of war transformed into instruments of peace 
(from scales and armor, feathers and hair). 

728 ( March-1 une 1888 ) 

It is part of the concept of the living that it must grow — 
that it must extend its power and consequently incorporate alien 
forces. Intoxicated by moral narcotics, one speaks of the right of 
the individual to defend himself; in the same sense one might 
also speak of his right to attack: for both — and the second even 
more than the first — are necessities for every living thing: — 
aggressive and defensive egoism are not matters of choice, to say 
nothing of “free will,” but the fatality of life itself. 

In this case it is all the same whether one has in view an 
individual or a living body, an aspiring “society.” The right to 
punish (or the self-defense of society) is at bottom called a 
“right” owing to a misuse of the word. A right is acquired through 
treaties — but self-protection and self-defense do not rest on the 
basis of a treaty. At least a people might just as well designate 
as a right its need to conquer, its lust for power, whether by 
means of arms or by trade, commerce and colonization — the right 
to growth, perhaps. A society that definitely and instinctively gives 
up war and conquest is in decline: it is ripe for democracy and the 
rule of shopkeepers — In most cases, to be sure, assurances of 
peace are merely narcotics. 

729 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The maintenance of the military state is the last means of 
all of acquiring or maintaining the great tradition with regard 
to the supreme type of man, the strong type. And all concepts 
that perpetuate enmity and difference in rank between states 
(e.g., nationalism, protective tariffs) may appear sanctioned in 
this light. 


730 ( 1885-1886 ) 

That something longer-lasting than an individual should 
endure, that a work should endure which has perhaps been 
created by an individual: to that end, every possible kind of limi- 
tation, one-sidedness, etc., must be imposed upon the individual. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 387 

By what means? Love, reverence, gratitude toward the person who 
created the work helps; or that our forefathers fought for it; or 
that my descendants will be guaranteed only if I guarantee this 
work (e.g., the polis). Morality is essentially the means of en- 
suring the duration of something beyond individuals, or rather 
through an enslavement of the individual. It is obvious that the 
perspective from below will produce quite different expressions 
from that from above. 

A complex of power: how is it maintained? By the fact that 
many generations sacrifice themselves for it; i.e., — 03 

731 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The continuum: “marriage, property, language, tradition, 
tribe, family, people, state” are continuums of lower and higher 
orders. Their economy resides in the preponderance of the advan- 
tages of uninterrupted work and of multiplicity over the disadvan- 
tages: the higher cost of exchange between parts or of making 
them last. (Multiplication of the effective parts, which, however, 
often remain unemployed; thus a higher cost of acquisition and a 
not inconsiderable cost in maintenance. ) The advantage resides in 
the fact that interruptions are avoided and losses that would arise 
from them are saved. Nothing is more costly than a beginning. 

“The greater the advantages for existence, the greater the 
cost of maintenance and production (food and propagation); the 
greater, too, the danger and probability of perishing before the 
high point is reached.” 

732 ( Summer-Fall 1888) 

Marriage in the bourgeois sense of the word — I mean, in .the 
most respectable sense of the word “marriage” — is not a matter 
of love, any more than it is a question of money; no institution can 
be founded on love. It is a question of society’s granting per- 
mission to two people to gratify their sexiial desires with one 
another, under certain conditions, to be sure, but conditions that 
keep the interests of society in view. It is obvious that a certain 
attraction between the parties and very much good will — will to 
patience, compatibility, care for one another — will be among the 
presuppositions of such a contract; but one should not misuse the 

" In all previous editions the section ends: “. . . for it.” 




388 


the will to power 


word love to describe this! For two lovers in the complete and 
strong sense of the word sexual gratification is not essential and 
is really no more than a symbol: for one party, as already said, a 
symbol of unconditional submission, for the other a symbol of 
assent to this, a sign of taking possession. 

In marriage in the aristocratic, old aristocratic sense of the 
word it was a question of the breeding of a race (is there still an 
aristocracy today? Quaeritur 9i ) — thus of the maintenance of a 
fixed, definite type of ruling man: man and woman were sacri- 
ficed to this point of view. It is obvious that love was not the 
first consideration here; on the contrary! and not even that measure 
of mutual good will that is a condition of the good bourgeois 
marriage. What was decisive was the interest of a family, and 
beyond that — the class. We would shiver a little at the coldness, 
severity, and calculating clarity of such a noble concept of marriage 
as has ruled in every healthy aristocracy, in ancient Athens as in 
the eighteenth century, we warm-blooded animals with sensitive 
hearts, we “modems”! Precisely this is why love as a passion — in 
the great meaning of the word — was invented for the aristocratic 
world and in it, where constraint and privation were greatest 05 — 

733 ( 1888 ) 

On the future of marriage : — an additional tax (on inherit- 
ance), also additional war service for bachelors from a certain age 
onwards and increasing (within the community); 

advantages of all kinds for fathers who bring many boys into 
the world: possibly a plural vote; 

a medical certificate preceding every marriage and endorsed 
by the communal authorities, several definite questions must be 
answered by the couple and by doctors (“family history” — ); 

as an antidote to prostitution (or as its ennoblement): 
marriages for a period, legalized (for years, for months), with 
guarantees for the children; 

every marriage warranted and sanctioned by a certain number 
of trusted men of the community, as a matter of concern to the 
community. 00 

“One asks. 

"This section and the next should be compared with Twilight, “Skir- 
mishes,” section 39 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 543-44). 

"See the preceding footnote. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


389 


734 ( Summer-Fall 1888) 

Also a commandment of the love of man . — There are cases 
in which a child would be a crime: in the case of chronic invalids 
and neurasthenics of the third degree. What should one do in 
such cases? — One might at least try encouraging them to chastity, 
perhaps with the aid of Parsifal music: Parsifal himself, this 
typical idiot, had only too many reasons not to propagate him- 
self. The trouble is that a certain inability to “control” oneself 
( — not to react to stimuli, even to very slight sexual stimuli) is one 
of the most regular consequences of general exhaustion. One 
would be mistaken, for example, to think of a Leopardi as chaste. 
The priest, the moralist play a hopeless game in such cases; it 
would make more sense to go to a pharmacy. After all, society has 
a duty here: few more pressing and fundamental demands can 
be made upon it. Society, as the great trustee of life, is re- 
sponsible to life itself for every miscarried life — it also has to 
pay for such lives: consequently it ought to prevent them. In 
numerous cases, society ought to prevent procreation: to this end, 
it may hold in readiness, without regard to descent, rank, or 
spirit, the most rigorous means of constraint, deprivation of free- 
dom, in certain circumstances castration. — 

The Biblical prohibition “thou shalt not kill!” is a piece of 
naivete compared with the seriousness of the prohibition of life 
to decadents: “thou shalt not procreate!” — Life itself recognizes 
no solidarity, no “equal rights,” between the healthy and the 
degenerate parts of an organism: one must excise the latter — or 
the whole will perish. — Sympathy for decadents, equal rights for 
the ill-constituted — that would be the profoundest immorality, 
that would be antinature itself as morality! 07 

735 {1887; rev. 1888 ) 

There are delicate and sickly inclined natures, so-called 
idealists, who cannot achieve anything better than a crime, cru, 
vert: 98 it is the great justification of their little, pale existences, a 

"This section was originally meant to be included in Twilight, under 
the title "My categorical imperative." The printer’s proof, corrected by 
Nietzsche, is preserved along with the MS. But then Nietzsche withdrew 
this section. 

" Raw, green. 




390 


the will to power 


payment for a protracted cowardice and mendaciousness, a moment 
at least of strength: afterwards they perish of it. 80 

736 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

In our civilized world, we learn to know almost only the 
wretched criminal, crushed by the curse and the contempt of 
society, mistrustful of himself, often belittling and slandering his 
deed, a miscarried type of criminal; and we resist the idea that all 
great human beings have been criminals (only in the grand and 
not in a miserable style), that crime belongs to greatness ( — for 
that is the experience of those who have tried the reins and of 
all who have descended deepest into great souls — ). To be “free 
as a bird” from tradition, the conscience of duty — every great 
human being knows this danger. But he also desires it: he desires 
a great goal and therefore also the means to it. 100 

737 (March-] une 1888 ) 

Ages in which one leads men with reward and punishment 
have a low, still primitive kind of man in view: it is as if they 
were children — 

Within our late culture, fatality and degeneration are some- 
thing that completely abolishes all meaning of reward and punish- 
ment — This real determination of action through reward and 
punishment presupposes young, strong, forceful races. In old 
races, the impulses are so irresistible that a mere idea is quite 
powerless; — to be unable to offer resistance where a stimulus is 
given, but to have to respond to it: this extreme susceptibility of 
decadents renders such systems of punishment and improvement 
perfectly meaningless, 

* 

The concept “improvement” rests on the presupposition of 
a normal and strong man, whose individual action must in some 


" Possibly a comment on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. See also 
the next footnote and section 740 below. 

m Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 45, which deals at greater length 
with "The criminal and what is related to him ” and says: “The testimony of 
Dostoevsky is relevant . . . — Dostoevsky, the only psychologist, incidentally, 
from whom I had something to learn . . .” (Portable Nietzsche, pp. 549-51). 
Cf. also section 740 below. See also the Appendix, below. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


391 


way be balanced in order not to lose him [to the community] , 101 
in order not to have him as an enemy. 

738 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Effect of a prohibition . — Every power that forbids, that 
knows how to arouse fear in those to whom something is forbidden, 
creates a “bad conscience” (that is, the desire for something com- 
bined with the consciousness of danger in satisfying it, with the 
necessity for secrecy, for underhandedness, for caution). Every 
prohibition worsens the character of those who do not submit to 
it willingly, but only because they are compelled. 

739 ( March-June 1888) 

“Reward and punishment.” — They stand together, they fall 
together. Today one does not want to be rewarded, one will not 
acknowledge the right of anyone to punish— One has put oneself 
on a war footing: one desires something, one meets with opposi- 
tion, one can perhaps gain what one wants most reasonably if one 
gets along — if one draws up a contract. 

A modem society, in which every individual has drawn up 
his “contract” — the criminal breaks a contract — That would be 
a clear concept. But then one could not tolerate within a society 
anarchists and those who oppose the form of that society or 
principle — 


740 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Crime belongs to the concept “revolt against the social order.” 
One does not “punish” a rebel; one suppresses him. A rebel can 
be a miserable and contemptible man; but there is nothing con- 
temptible in a revolt as such — and to be a rebel in view of con- 
temporary society does not in itself lower the value of a man. 
There are even cases in which one might have to honor a rebel, 
because he finds something in our society against which war ought 
to be waged — he awakens us from our slumber. 

If a criminal perpetrates an individual act against an indi- 
vidual this does not demonstrate that his whole instinct is not 

""The words I have placed in brackets were added by the German 
editors. 



392 


THE WILL TO POWER 


in a state of war with the whole order: his deed as a mere symptom. 

One should reduce the concept “punishment” to the concept: 
suppression of a revolt, security measures against the suppressed 
(total or partial imprisonment). But one should not express con- 
tempt through punishment: a criminal is in any case a man who 
risks his life, his honor, his freedom — a man of courage. Neither 
should one take punishment to be a penance; or as a payment, 
as if an exchange relationship existed between guilt and punish- 
ment — punishment does not purify, for crime does not sully. 

One should not deprive the criminal of the possibility of mak- 
ing his peace with society; provided he does not belong to the 
race of criminals. In that case one should make war on him even 
before he has committed any hostile act (first operation as soon 
as one has him in one’s power: his castration). 

One should not hold against the criminal his bad manners 
or the low level of his intelligence. Nothing is more common than 
that he should misunderstand himself (for often his rebellious in- 
stinct, the rancor of the declasse, has not reached consciousness, 
faute le lecture ), 102 that he should slander and dishonor his deed 
under the influence of fear and failure — quite apart from those 
cases in which, psychologically speaking, the criminal surrenders 
to an uncomprehended drive and by some subsidiary action ascribes 
a false motive to his deed (perhaps by a robbery when what he 
wanted was blood ). 103 

One should beware of assessing the value of a man according 
to a single deed. Napoleon warned against this. For our haut-relief 
deeds are quite especially insignificant. If men like us have no 
crime, e.g., murder, on our conscience — why is it? Because a few 
opportune circumstances were lacking. And if we did it, what 
would that indicate about our value? In a way one would despise 
us if one thought we had not the strength to kill a man under 
certain circumstances. In almost all crimes some qualities also find 
expression which ought not to be lacking in a man. It was not 
without justification that Dostoevsky said of the inmates of his 
Siberian prisons that they formed the strongest and most valuable 


3M For lack of reading. 

103 Cf. Zarathustra I, “On the Pale Criminal” ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 
149 ff), and Crime and Punishment; but when Nietzsche wrote Zarathustra, 
he had not even heard of Dostoevsky. For the details concerning his read- 
ing of Dostoevsky, see my notes on Genealogy, essay III, sections 15 and 24. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


393 


part of the Russian people. 104 If with us the criminal is an ill- 
nourished and stunted plant, this is to the dishonor of our social 
relationships; in the age of the Renaissance the criminal throve and 
acquired for himself his own kind of virtue — virtue in the Ren- 
aissance style, to be sure, virtu, moraline-free virtue. 

One can enhance only those men whom one does not treat 
with contempt; moral contempt causes greater indignity and harm 
than any crime. 


741 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The derogatory element first entered into punishment when 
certain penalties became associated with contemptible men (e.g., 
slaves) . Those punished most were contemptible men, and at length 
punishment came to contain something derogatory. 

742 (March-June 1888) 

In ancient penal law a religious concept was at work: that 
of the expiatory power of punishment. Punishment purifies: in the 
modern world it sullies. Punishment is a payment: one is really rid 
of that for which one was willing to suffer so much. Provided there 
is a belief in this power of punishment, there follows a profound 
sense of relief which is really very close to a new health, a restora- 
tion. One has not only made one’s peace with society again, one 
has also regained one’s self-respect and feels — “pure.” 

Today punishment isolates even more than the crime; the 
fatality behind a crime has grown so great that it has grown in- 
curable. One emerges from punishment as an enemy of society. 
From then on, it has one more enemy. 

Jus talionis 105 can be dictated by the spirit of retribution (i.e., 
by a kind of moderation of the instinct for revenge); but with 
Manu, e.g., it is the need to possess an equivalent in order to 
expiate, in order to be “free" again in a religious sense. 

743 ( 1885-1886 ) 

My rather radical question mark set against all modem penal 

>M Cf. Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 45 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 549- 
51), and section 736 above. 

The law of talion. 




394 


THE WILL TO POWER 


codes is this: if the punishment should hurt in proportion to the 
magnitude of the crime— and fundamentally that is what all of you 
want! — you would have to measure the susceptibility to pain of 
every criminal. Does that not mean: a previously determined 
punishment for a crime, a penal code, ought not to exist at all? 
But considering that one would scarcely be able to determine a 
criminal’s degrees of pleasure and displeasure, wouldn’t one have 
to do without punishment in practice? What a loss! Isn’t it? Con- 
sequently — 


744 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Ah, the philosophy of right! A science that, like all moral 
science, has not even reached the cradle yet! 

One still misunderstands, e.g., even among jurists who think 
themselves enlightened, the oldest and most valuable significance 
of punishment — one does not know it at all; and as long as juris- 
prudence does not put itself on a new footing, namely on that of 
comparative history and anthropology, it will persist in the useless 
struggle between fundamentally false abstractions that today pass 
for “philosophy of right” and that are all based on contemporary 
man. This contemporary man, however, is so intricate, also in his 
legal evaluations, that he permits the most varied interpretations. 

745 ( 1883-1888 ) 

An old Chinese said he had heard that when empires were 
doomed they had many laws. 

746 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Schopenhauer wanted rascals to be castrated and silly geese 
to be shut up in convents: from what point of view would this 
be desirable? The rascal has this advantage over many other men, 
that he is not mediocre; and the fool has this advantage over us, 
that he does not suffer at the sight of mediocrity. 

It would be more desirable that the gulf should be made 
wider; so rascality and folly should increase. In this way human 
nature would be expanded — But, after all, this is dictated by ne- 
cessity; it does not depend on whether we desire it or not. Folly, 
rascality increase: that is part of “progress.” 



BOOK three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


395 


747 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

In contemporary society a great deal of consideration, of tact 
and forbearance, of good-natured respect for the rights of others, 
even for the claims of others, is quite widespread; even more, a 
certain benevolent instinctive estimation of human value in general, 
which finds expression in trustfulness and credit of all kinds. Re- 
spect for man — and not merely for virtuous men- — is perhaps what 
divides us most sharply from a Christian evaluation. It seems to us 
ironic to a degree when we still hear morals preached; a man lowers 
himself in our eyes and becomes comical if he preaches morals. 

This moral liberality is one of the best signs of our age. 
When we discover cases in which it is noticeably lacking, this 
strikes us as a kind of sickness (the case of Carlyle in England, 
the case of Ibsen in Norway, the case of Schopenhauerian[?] 100 
pessimism [?] throughout Europe [?]). If anything can reconcile 
us to our age, it is the great amount of immorality it permits itself 
without thinking any the worse of itself. On the contrary! What 
constitutes the superiority of culture over unculture? of the Renais- 
sance over the Middle Ages, for example? — One thing alone; the 
great amount of admitted immorality. From this it follows of 
necessity what all the heights of human evolution must represent 
to the eye of the moral fanatic: the non plus ultra of corruption 
( — consider Savonarola’s judgment of Florence, Plato’s judgment 
of Periclean Athens, Luther’s [?] judgment[?] of Rome, Rous- 
seau’s judgment of Voltaire’s society, the German judgment contra 
Goethe). 


748 (.Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A little fresh air! This absurd condition of Europe shall not 
go on much longer! Is there any idea at all behind this bovine 
nationalism? What value can there be now, when everything points 
to wider and more common interests, in encouraging this boorish 
self-conceit? And this in a state of affairs in which spiritual de- 
pendency and disnationalization meet the eye and in which the 
value and meaning of contemporary culture lie in mutual blend- 
ing and fertilization! — And the “new Reich ” again founded on 

106 The five words followed by question marks in brackets represent 
uncertain but extremely plausible readings. 


396 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the most threadbare and despised ideas: equal rights and universal 
suffrage. 

The struggle for advantage within a state of affairs that is no 
good; this culture of big cities, newspapers, feverishness and “point- 
leSsness”— 1 

The economic unification of Europe is coming of necessity — 
and also, as a reaction, a peace party — 

A party of peace, without sentimentality, that forbids itself 
and its children to wage war; forbids recourse to the courts; that 
provokes struggle, contradiction, persecution against itself: a party 
o f the oppressed, at least for a time; soon the big party. Opposed 
to feelings of revenge and resentment. 

A war party, equally principled and severe toward itself, pro- 
ceeding in the opposite direction — 


749 10T ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

The princes Of Europe should consider carefully whether they 
can do without Our support. We immoralists— we are today the 
only power that needs no allies in order to conquer: thus we are 
by far the strongest of the strong. We do not even need to tell 
lies: what other power can dispense with that? A powerful seduc- 
tion fights on our behalf, the most powerful perhaps that there has 
ever been — the seduction of truth — “Truth”? Who has forced 
this word on me? But I repudiate it; but I disdain this proud word: 
no, we do not need even this; we shall conquer and come to power 
even without truth. The spell that fights on our behalf, the eye of 
Venus that charms and blinds even our opponents, is the magic of 
the extreme, the seduction that everything extreme exercises: we 
immoralists — we are the most extreme. 


750 (1884) 

The rotted ruling classes have ruined the image of the ruler. 
The “state” as a court of law is a piece of cowardice, because the 
great human being is lacking to provide a standard of measure- 
ment. Finally, the sense of insecurity grows so great that men 
cower in the dust before any forceful will that commands. N.B. 


In the MS this section is crossed out. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 397 

Scorn for the kings with the virtues of petty virtuous people. 108 

751 (March-June 1888) 

“The will to power” is so hated in democratic ages that their 
entire psychology seems directed toward belittling and defaming 
it. The type of the great ambitious man who thirsts after honor is 
supposed to be Napoleon! And Caesar! And Alexander! — As if 
these were not precisely the great despisers of honor! 

And Helvetius demonstrates to us that men strive after power 
so as to possess the enjoyments available to the powerful: he 
understands this striving for power as will to enjoyment! as hedon- 
ism! 


752 (1884) 

According to whether a people feels “right, vision, the gift 
of leadership, etc., belong to the few” or “to the many” — there 
will be an oligarchic or a democratic government. 

Monarchy represents the belief in one man who is utterly 
superior, a leader, savior, demigod. 

Aristocracy represents the belief in an elite humanity and 
higher caste. 

Democracy represents the disbelief in great human beings and 
an elite society: “Everyone is equal to everyone else.” “At bottom 
we are one and all self-seeking cattle and mob.” 

753 (1885) 

I am opposed to 1. socialism, because it dreams quite naively 
of “the good, true, and beautiful” and of “equal rights” ( — anarch- 
ism also desires the same ideal, but in a more brutal fashion); 

2. parliamentary government and the press, because these are 
the means by which the herd animal becomes master. 

754 (1884) 

The arming of the people — is ultimately the arming of the 

mob. 


M The last sentence, beginning with NB, has been omitted in all editions. 




398 


THE WILL TO POWER 


755 (1884) 

How ludicrous I find the socialists, with their nonsensical 
optimism concerning the “good man,” who is waiting to appear 
from behind the scenes if only one would abolish the old “order” 
and set all the “natural drives” free. 

And the party opposed to them is just as ludicrous, because 
it does not admit the element of violence in the law, the severity 
and egoism in every kind of authority. “ 1 and my kind’ want to 
rule and survive; whoever degenerates will be expelled or de- 
stroyed” — this is the basic feeling behind every ancient legislation. 

The idea of a higher kind of man is hated more than mon- 
archs. Anti-aristocratic: that assumes hatred of monarchy only as 
a mask — 


756 ( 1885-1886 ) 

How treacherous all parties are! — they bring to light some- 
thing about their leaders which the latter have perhaps always 
taken great care to hide under a bushel. 

757 (1884) 

Modern socialism wants to create the secular counterpart to 
Jesuitism: everyone a perfect instrument. But the purpose, the 
wherefore? has not yet been ascertained. 

758 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

Slavery today: a piece of barbarism! Where are those /or 
whom they work? One must not always expect the contemporan- 
eity of the two complementary castes. 

Utility and pleasure are slave theories of life: the “blessing 
of work” is the self-glorification of slaves. — Incapacity for 
otium. 100 


759 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

One has no right to existence or to work, to say nothing of 


** Leisure. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


399 


a right to “happiness”: the individual human being is in precisely 
the same case as the lowest worm. 

760 ( Fall 1888 ) 

We must think of the masses as unsentimentally as we think 
of nature: they preserve the species. 

761 ( 1885-1886 ) 

To look upon the distress of the masses with an ironic 
melancholy: they want something we are capable of — ah! 

762 (1885) 

European democracy represents a release of forces only to 
a very small degree. It is above all a release of laziness, of weari- 
ness, of weakness. 


763 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

From the future of the worker . 119 — Workers should learn to 
feel like soldiers. An honorarium, an income, but no pay! 

No relation between payment and achievement! But the indi- 
vidual, each according to his kind, should be so placed that he 
can achieve the highest that lies in his power. 

764 (1882) 

The workers shall live one day as the bourgeois do now — but 
above them, distinguished by their freedom from wants, the higher 
caste : that is to say, poorer and simpler, but in possession of power. 

For lower men the reverse valuation obtains; it is a question 
of implanting “virtues” in them. Absolute commands; terrible 
means of compulsion; to tear them away from the easy life. The 
others may obey, and their vanity demands that they appear to be 
dependent, not on great men, but on " principles .“ 


110 This title was supplied by the German editors, who found it in a list 
Nietzsche had made of his notes. 




400 


THE WILL TO POWER 


765 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

“Redemption from all guilt’’ 

One speaks of the “profound injustice” of the social pact; as 
if the fact that this man is born in favorable circumstances, that 
in unfavorable ones, were in itself an injustice; or even that it is 
unjust that this man should be born with these qualities, that 
man with those. Among the most honest of these opponents of 
society it is asserted: “we ourselves, with all our bad, sick, crim- 
inal qualities, which we admit tq, are only the inescapable con- 
sequences of a long suppression of the weak by the strong”; they 
make the ruling classes responsible for their characters. And they 
threaten, they rage, they curse; they become virtuous from indig- 
nation — they do not want to have become bad men, canaille, for 
nothing. 

This pose, an invention of the last few decades, is also called 
pessimism, as I hear; the pessimism of indignation. Here the claim 
is made to judge history, to divest it of its fatality, to discover 
responsibility behind it, guilty men in it. For this is the rub: one 
needs guilty men. The underprivileged, the decadents of all kinds 
are in revolt on account of themselves and need victims so as not 
to quench their thirst for destruction by destroying themselves 
( — which would perhaps be reasonable). To this end, they heed 
ah appearance of justice, i.e., a theory through which they can 
shift the responsibility for their existence, for their being thus and 
thus, on to some sort of scapegoat. This scapegoat can be God — 
in Russia there is no lack of such atheists from ressentiment — or 
the social order, or education and training, or the Jews, or the 
nobility, or those who have turned out well in any way. “It is a 
crime to be born in favorable circumstances; for thus one has 
disinherited the others, pushed them aside, condemned them to vice, 
even to work — How can I help it that I am wretched! But some- 
body must be responsible, otherwise it would be unberablel ” 

In short, the pessimism of indignation invents responsibility 
in order to create a pleasant feeling for itself — revenge — “Sweeter 
than honey” old Homer called it. — 

* 

That such a theory is no longer rightly understood, that is 
to say despised, is a consequence of the bit of Christianity that we 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


401 


all still have in our blood; so we are tolerant toward things merely 
because they smell somewhat Christian from a distance — The 
socialists appeal to the Christian instincts, that is their most subtle 
piece of shrewdness. 

Christianity has accustomed us to the superstitious concept 
of the “soul,” the “immortal soul,” soul-monads that really are at 
home somewhere else and have only by chance fallen, as it were 
into this or that condition, into the “earthly” and become “flesh”; 
but their essence is not held to be affected, to say nothing of being 
conditioned, by all this. Social, family, historical circumstances are 
for the soul only incidental* perhaps embarrassments; in any event, 
it is not produced by them. With this idea, the individual is made 
transcendent; as a result, he can attribute a senseless importance 
to himself. 

In fact, it was Christianity that first invited the individual to 
play the judge of everything and everyone; megalomania almost 
became a duty: one has to enforce eternal rights against everything 
temporal and conditioned! What of the state! What of society! What 
of historical laws! What of physiology! What speaks here is some- 
thing beyond becoming, something unchanging throughout history, 
something immortal, something divine: a soull 

Another Christian concept, no less crazy, has passed even 
more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the 
“equality of souls before God.” This concept furnishes the proto- 
type of all theories of equal rights: mankind was first taught to 
stammer the proposition of equality in a religious context, and 
only later was it made into morality: no wonder that man ended 
by taking it seriously, taking it practically! — that is to say, politi- 
cally, democratically, socialistically, in the spirit of the pessimism 
of indignation. 


* 

Wherever responsibilities have been sought it was the instinct 
of revenge that sought. This instinct of revenge has so mastered 
mankind in the course of millennia that the whole of metaphysics, 
psychology, conception of history, but above all morality, is im- 
pregnated with it. As far as man has thought, he has introduced 
the bacillus of revenge into things. He has made even God ill with 
it, he has deprived existence in general of its innocence; namely, 
by tracing back every state of being thus and thus to a will* an 
intention, a responsible act. The entire doctrine of the will, this 



402 


THE WILL TO ROWER 


most fateful falsification in psychology hitherto, was essentially 
invented for the sake of punishment. It was the social utility of 
punishment that guaranteed this concept its dignity, its power, its 
truth. The originators of this psychology — the psychology of will 
— are to be sought in the classes that administered the penal law, 
above all among the priests at the head of the oldest communality: 
they wanted to create for themselves a right to take revenge— they 
wanted to create a right for God to take revenge. To this end, man 
was conceived of as “free”; to this end, every action had to be 
conceived of as willed, the origin of every action as conscious. 
But these sentences refute the old psychology . 111 

Today, when Europe seems to have entered upon the opposite 
course, when we halcyonians especially are trying with all our 
might to withdraw, banish, and extinguish the concepts of guilt 
and punishment from the world, when our most serious endeavor 
is to purify psychology, morality, history; nature, social institutions 
and sanctions, and even God of this filth — whom must we recognize 
as our most natural antagonists? Precisely those apostles of revenge 
and ressentiment, those pessimists from indignation par excellence, 
who make it their mission to sanctify their filth under the name of 
“indignation.” 

We others, who desire to restore innocence to becoming, 
would like to be the missionaries of a cleaner idea: that no one 
has given man his qualities, neither God, nor society, nor his 
parents and ancestors, nor he himself — that no one is to blame for 
him. 

There is no being that could be held responsible for the fact 
that anyone exists at all, that anyone is thus and thus, that anyone 
was bom in certain circumstances, in a certain environment. — It 
is a tremendous restorative that such a being is lacking. 

We are not the result of an eternal intention, a will, a wish: 
we are not the product of an attempt to achieve an “ideal of per- 
fection” or an “ideal of happiness” or an “ideal of virtue” — any 
more than we are a blunder on the part of God that must frighten 
even him (an idea with which, as is well known, the Old Testament 
begins). There is no place, no purpose, no meaning, on which we 
can shift the responsibility for our being, for our being thus and 
thus. Above all: Ho one could do it; one cannot judge, measure, 
compare the whole, to say nothing of denying it! Why not? — For 

Uncertain reading. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


403 


five reasons, all accessible even to modest intellects; for example, 
because nothing exists besides the whole — 

And, to say it again, this is a tremendous restorative; this 
constitutes the innocence of all existence. 112 


2. The Individual 

766 ( 1886-1887 ) 

Basic error: to place the goal in the herd and not in single 
individuals! The herd is a means, no more! But flow one is at- 
tempting to understand the herd as an individual and to ascribe 
to it a higher rank than to the individual— profound misunder- 
standing! ! ! Also to characterize that which makes herdlike, 
sympathy, as the more valuable side of our nature! 

767 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The individual is something quite new which creates flew 
things, something absolute; all his acts are entirely his own. 

Ultimately, the individual derives the values of his acts from 
himself; because he has to interpret in a quite individual way 
even the words he has inherited. His interpretation of a formula 
at least is personal, even if he does not create a formula: as an 
interpreter he is still creative. 

768 (1882) 

The “ego” subdues and kills: it operates like an organic ceil: 
it is a robber and violent. It wants to regenerate itself — pregnancy. 
It wants to give birth to Us god and see all mankind at his feet, 

769 ( Fall 1888) 

Every living thing reaches out as far from itself with its force 

’“The suggestion in 1911, p. 511, that the last sentences should be 
compared with VIII, 149, which is Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 38 ( Porta- 
ble Nietzsche, pp. 541-43), seems unhelpful. But section 765 was utilized in 
Twilight, ‘The Four Great Errors,” sections 7-8 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 
499-501). 




404 


THE WILL TO POWER 


as it can, and overwhelms what is weaker: thus it takes pleasure 
in itself. The increasing “humanizing” of this tendency consists 
in this, that there is an ever subtler sense of how hard it is really 
to incorporate another: while a crude injury done him certainly 
demonstrates our power over him, it at the same time estranges 
his will from us even more — and thus makes him less easy to 
subjugate. 


770 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

The degreee of resistance that must be continually overcome 
in order to remain on top is the measure of freedom, whether for 
individuals or for societies — freedom understood, that is, as posi- 
tive power, as will to power. According to this concept, the highest 
form of individual freedom, of sovereignty, would in all probability 
emerge not five steps from its opposite, 5,3 where the danger of 
slavery hangs over existence like a hundred swords of Damocles. 
Look at history from this viewpoint: the ages in which the “indi- 
vidual” achieves such ripe perfection, i.e., freedom, and the classic 
type of the sovereign man is attained — oh no! they have never 
been humane ages! 

One must have no choice: either on top — or underneath, like 
a worm, mocked, annihilated, trodden upon. One must oppose 
tyrants to become a tyrant, i.e., free. It is no small advantage to 
live under a hundred swords of Damocles: that way one learns to 
dance, one attains “freedom of movement.” 

771 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Man, more than any animal, originally altruistic: hence his 
slow development (child) and lofty culture; hence, too, his ex- 
traordinary, ultimate kind of egoism. — Beasts of prey are much 
more individual. 


772 ( Spring-Fall 1880) 

[Critique of "selfishness ." — ] lw The involuntary naivet6 


m Cf. Twilight, section 38 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 541-43). See foot- 
note 1 12 above, but even here the correct reference would be VIII, 150. 
"‘The title was added by Peter Gast. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


405 


of La Rochefoucauld, who thought he was saying something bold, 
free and paradoxical — in those days “truth” in psychological 
matters was something that aroused astonishment — Example: 
“les grandes dmes ne sont pas celles qui ont moins de passions et 
plus de vertus que les dmes communes, mais seulement celles qui 
ont de plus grands desseins ,” 116 — To be sure, John Stuart Mill 
(who calls Chamfort the nobler and more philosophical La Rouche- 
foucauld of the eighteenth century — ) sees in him only an astute 
observer of all that in the human breast that derives from “habitual 
selfishness,” and adds: “a noble spirit will be Unable to convince 
himself of the need to impose upon himself a constant contempla- 
tion of commonness and baseness, unless it were to show over what 
corrupting influences a lofty mind and nobility of character are able 
to triumph.” 


773 (Nov. 1887 -March 1888 ) 

Morphology of self-esteem 

First viewpoint: to what extent feelings of sympathy and 
community are the lower, preparatory stage at a time when personal 
self-esteem and individual initiative in evaluation are not yet 
possible. 

Second viewpoint: to what extent the height of collective self- 
esteem, pride in the distinction of the clan, the feeling of inequality, 
the aversion to mediation, equality of rights, reconciliation, is a 
school for individual self-reliance; that is, in so far as it compels 
the individual to represent the pride of the whole: he has to speak 
and act with extreme respect for himself in so far as he represents 
the coriimunity in his own person. Also when the individual feels 
like the instrument and mouthpiece of the deity. 

Third viewpoint: to what extent these forms of depersonaliza- 
tion in fact give the person a tremendous importance, in so far 
as higher powers employ him; religious awe before oneself the 
condition of the prophet and poet. 

Fourth Viewpoint: to what extent responsibility for the whole 
trains the individual to, and permits him, a broad view, a stem and 
terrible hand, a circumspection and coolness, a grandeur of bear- 

Great souls are not those with fewer passions and more virtues than 
common souls, but only those with greater designs. — The Mill quotation 
has been retranslated from Nietzsche’s German. 



406 


THE WILL TO POWER 


ing and gesture, which he would not permit himself on his own 
behalf. 

In summa: collective self-esteem is the great preparatory school 
for personal sovereignty. The noble class is that which inherits 
this training. 


774 ( 1883-1888 ) 

The disguised, forms of the will to power: 

1. Desire for freedom, independence, also for equilibrium, 
peace, co-ordination. Also the hermit, “spiritual freedom.” In the 
lowest form: will to exist at all, “the drive to self-preservation.” 

2. Enrollment, so as to satisfy the will to power in a larger 
whole: submission, making oneself indispensable and useful to 
those in power; love, as a secret path to the heart of the more 
powerful — so as to dominate him. 

3. The sense of duty, conscience, the imaginary consolation 
of outranking those who actually possess power; the recognition 
of an order of rank that permits judgment even of the more power- 
ful; self-condemnation; the invention of new tables of value (Jews: 
classical example). 


775 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Praise arid gratitude as will to power. 116 — Praise and grati- 
tude on the occasions of harvest, good weather, victory, marriage, 
peace: — all these festivals require a subject upon which the feeling 
can be discharged. One desires that all good things that happen to 
one should have been done to one: one desires a doer. The same 
applies to works of art: one is not satisfied with them alone: one 
praises the doer. 

What, then is praise? A sort of restoration of balance in 
respect of benefits received, a giving in return, a demonstration of 
our power — for those who praise affirm, judge, evaluate, pass 
sentence: they claim the right of being able to affirm, of being 
able to dispense honors. A heightened feeling of happiness and 
life is also a heightened feeling of power: it is from this that man 

'“The title is not found at this place in the MS, but is taken from a 
list of aphorisms. The idea was stated in 1878 in Nietzsche’s Human, All 
too Human, section 44, which is cited and discussed in my Nietzsche, 
Chapter 6, section 1. 


407 


BOOK three: Principles of A New Evaluation 

praises ( — from this that he invents and seeks a doer, a “sub- 
ject” — ). Gratitude as virtuous revenge: most strenuously de- 
manded and practiced where equality and pride must both be 
upheld, 'where revenge is practiced best. 

776 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

On the “Machiavellianism” of Power 

The will to power appears 

a. among the oppressed, among slaves of all kinds, as will 
to "freedom": merely getting free seems to be the goal (religio- 
morally: “responsible to one’s own conscience alone”; “evangelical 
freedom,” etc.); 

b. among a stronger kind of man, getting ready for power, 
as will to overpower; if it is at first unsuccessful, then it limits 
itself to the will to “justice,” i.e., to the same measure of rights 
as the ruling type possesses; 

c. among the strongest, richest, most independent, most 
courageous, as “love of mankind,” of "the people,” of the gospel, 
of truth, God; as sympathy; “self-sacrifice,’’ etc.; as overpowering, 
bearing away with oneself, taking into one’s service, as instinctive 
self-involvement with a great quantum of power to which one is 
able to give direction: the hero, the prophet, the Caesar, the 
savior, the shepherd; (—sexual love, too; belongs here: it desires 
to overpower, to take possession, and it appears as self-surrender. 
Fundamentally it is only love of one’s “instrument,” of one’s 
“steed” — the conviction that this or that belongs to one because one 
is in a position to use it). 

“Freedom," “justice," and “love"!!! 

Ill (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

Love . — Look into it; women’s love and sympathy — is there 
anything more egoistic? — And if they sacrifice themselves, their 
honor, their reputation, to whom do they sacrifice themselves? 
To the man? Or is it not rather to an unbridled urge? — These 
desires are just as selfish even if they please others and implant 
gratitude — 

To what extent this sort of hyperfetation of one valuation 
can sanctify everything else!! 



408 


THE WILL TO POWER 


778 ( March-June 1888 ) 

"Senses,” “passions .” — Fear of the senses, of the desires, of 
the passions, when it goes so far as to counsel us against them, is 
already a symptom of weakness: extreme measures always in- 
dicate abnormal conditions. What is lacking, or crumbling, here 
is the strength to restrain an impulse: if one’s instinct is to have 
to succumb, i.e., to have to react, then one does well to avoid the 
opportunities (“seductions”) for it. 

A “stimulation of the senses” is a seduction only for those 
whose system is too easily moved and influenced: in the opposite 
case, that of a system of great slowness and severity, strong stimuli 
are needed to set the functions going. 

Excess is a reproach only against those who have no right 
to it; and almost all the passions have been brought into ill 
repute on account of those who were not sufficiently strong to 
employ them—. 

One must understand that the same objections can be made to 
the passions as are made to sickness: nonetheless — we cannot do 
without sickness, and even less without the passions. We need 
the abnormal, we give life a tremendous choc by these great sick- 
nesses. 

In detail, the following must be distinguished: 

1. the dominating passion, which even brings with it the 
supremest form of health; here the co-ordination of the inner 
systems and their operation in the service of one end is best 
achieved — but this is almost the definition of health! 

2. the antagonism of the passions; two, three, a multiplicity 
of “souls in one breast”: 117 very unhealthy, inner ruin, disinte- 
gration, betraying and increasing and inner conflict and anarchism 
— unless one passion at last becomes master. Return to health — 

3. juxtaposition without antagonism or collaboration: often 
periodic, and then, as soon as an order has been established, also 
healthy. The most interesting men, the chameleons, belong here; 
they are not in contradiction with themselves, they are happy and 
secure, but they do not develop — their differing states lie jux- 
taposed, even if they are separated sevenfold. They change, they 
do not become. 

'"Allusion to Goethe’s Faust, line 1112. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


409 


779 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The quantity of the aim in its effect on the perspective of 
evaluation: the great criminal and the small one. The quantity 
of the aim that is wanted is also decisive for him who wills — 
whether he respects himself or feels dejected and miserable. — 

Then the degree of spirituality in the means in its effect on 
the perspective of evaluation. How different the philosophical 
innovator, experimenter and man of violence . appears from the 
robber, barbarian and adventurer! — Appearance of “disinterested- 
ness.” 

Finally, noble manners, bearing, courage, self-confidence — 
how they alter the valuation of that which is attained in this way! 

* 


Perspective of evaluation: 

Influence of the quantity (great, small) of the aim. 
Influence of the spirituality of the means. 

Influence of manners during the act. 

Ihfluence of success or failure. 

Influence of the opposing forces and their value. 
Influence of that which is permitted and forbidden. 


780 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The artifices for making possible actions, measures, affects 
that, from an individual standpoint, are no longer “allowable” — nor 
“in good taste”: 

that art “makes them tasteful to us” that allows us to enter 
such “estranged” worlds. 

historians show in what way they are right and reasonable; 
travels; exoticism; psychology, penal codes; madhouse; criminals; 
sociology; 

“impersonality” (so that, as media of a collective, we permit 
ourselves these affects and actions — council of judges, jury, citizen, 
soldier, cabinet minister, prince, association, “critic” — ) gives us 
the feeling we are making a sacrifice — 



410 


THE WILL TO POWER 


781 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Preoccupation with itself and its “eternal salvation” is not 
the expression of a rich and self-confident type; for that type does 
not give a damn about its salvation — it has no such interest in 
happiness of any kind; it is force, deed, desire — it imposes itself 
upon things, it lays violent hands on things. Christianity is a ro- 
mantic hypochondria of those whose legs are shaky. 

Wherever the hedonistic perspective comes into the fore- 
ground one may infer suffering and a type that represents a failure. 

782 (Nov. 1887-March 1888 ) 

The “growing autonomy of the individual”: these Parisian 
philosophers such as Fouillee speak of this; they ought to take a 
look at the race moutonntere 118 to which they belong! Open your 
eyes, you sociologists of the future! The individual has grown 
strong under opposite conditions; what you describe is the most 
extreme weakening and impoverishment of mankind; you even de- 
sire it and employ to that end the whole mendacious apparatus of 
the old ideal! you are so constituted that you actually regard your 
herd-animal needs as an ideal! 

A complete lack of psychological integrity! 

783 (1885) 

The modem European is characterized by two apparently 
opposite traits: individualism and the demand for equal rights; 
that I have at last come to understand. For the individual is an 
extremely vulnerable piece of vanity: conscious of how easily it 
suffers, this vanity demands that every other shall count as its 
equal, that it should be only inter pares. In this way a social race 
is characterized in which talents and powers do not diverge very 
much. The pride that desires solitude and few admirers is quite 
beyond comprehension; a really “great” success is possible only 
through the masses, indeed one hardly grasps the fact any more 

‘“Race of sheep. Alfred Fouillee (1838-1912) wrote books on Plato 
(1869) and Socrates (1874), a history of philosophy (1875), a critique of 
contemporary moral systems (1883), a work on democracy (1884), and, 
in addition to many other books, “ Nietzsche et I’immoralisme ” (Nietzsche 
and Immoralism, 1903). 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 411 

that a success with the masses is always really a petty success: be- 
cause pulchrum est paucorum hominum . no 

All moralities know nothing of an “order of rank” among 
men; teachers of law nothing of a communal conscience. The prin- 
ciple of the individual rejects very great human beings and de- 
mands, among men approximately equal, the subtlest eye and the 
speediest recognition of a talent; and because everyone has some 
kind of talent in such late and civilized cultures — and therefore 
can expect to receive back his share of honor — there is more flat- 
tering of modest merits today than ever before: it gives the age a 
veneer of boundless fairness. Its unfairness consists in a boundless 
rage, not against tyrants and public flatterers even in the arts, but 
against noble men, who despise the praise of the many. The demand 
for equal rights (i.e., to be allowed to sit in judgment on every- 
thing and everyone) is anti-aristocratic. 

Equally strange to the age is the vanished individual, the 
absorption in a great type, the desire not to be a personality — 
which constituted the distinction and ambition of many lofty men 
in earlier days (the greatest poets among them) ; or “to be a city” 
as in Greece; Jesuitism, Prussian officer corps and bureaucracy; or 
to be a pupil and continuator of great masters — for which non- 
social conditions and a lack of petty vanity are needed. 

784 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Individualism is a modest and still unconscious form of the 
“will to power”; here it seems sufficient to the individual to get 
free from an overpowering domination by society (whether that 
of the state or of the church). He does not oppose them as a 
person but only as an individual; he represents all individuals 
against the totality. That means: he instinctively posits himself as 
equal to all other individuals; what he gains in this struggle he 
gains for himself not as a person but as a representative of indi- 
viduals against the totality. 

Socialism is merely a means of agitation employed by indi- 
vidualism: it grasps that, to attain anything, one must organize one- 
self to a collective action, to a “power.” But what it desires is not 
a social order as the goal of the individual but a social order as a 
means for making possible many individuals: this is the instinct of 
socialists about which they frequently deceive themselves ( — apart 


Beauty belongs to the few. 




412 


THE WILL TO POWER 


from the fact that, in order to prevail, they frequently have to 
deceive themselves). The preaching of altruistic morality in the 
service of individual egoism: one of the most common lies of the 
nineteenth century. 

Anarchism, too, is merely a means of agitation employed by 
socialism; by means of it, socialism arouses fear, by means of fear 
it begins to fascinate and to terrorize: above all — it draws the 
courageous, the daring to its side, even in the most spiritual matters. 

All this notwithstanding: individualism is the most modest 
stage of the will to power. 


* 

Once one has achieved a certain degree of independence, one 
wants more: people arrange themselves according to their degree 
of force: the individual no longer simply supposes himself the 
equal of others, he seeks his equals — he distinguishes himself from 
others. Individualism is followed by the formation of groups and 
organs; related tendencies join together and become active as a 
power; between these centers of power friction, war, recognition 
of one another’s forces, reciprocation, approaches, regulation of 
an exchange of services. Finally, an order of rank. 

N.B.: 120 

1. Individuals liberate themselves; 

2. they enter into struggle with one another, they come to an 
agreement over “equality of rights” ( — “justice” as an aim — ); 

3. once this is achieved, the actual inequalities of force pro- 
duce an enhanced effect (because peace rules on the whole 
and many small quanta of force now constitute differences 
that formerly did not count). Now individuals organize them- 
selves in groups; the groups struggle for privileges and pre- 
dominance. Strife breaks out again in a milder form. 

One desires freedom so long as one does not possess power. 
Once one does possess it, one desires to overpower; if one can- 
not do that (if one is still too weak to do so), one desires “justice,” 
i.e., equal power. 


785 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Correction of the concept “egoism.” — When one has grasped 
to what extent the concept “individual” is an error because every 


Changed to “Recapitulation" by the German editors. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


413 


single creature constitutes the entire process in its entire course 
(not merely as “inherited,” but the process itself — ), then the 
single creature acquires a tremendously great significance. Instinct 
speaks quite correctly here. Where this instinct weakens — where 
the individual seeks a value for himself only in the service of others, 
one can be certain that exhaustion and degeneration are present. 
An altruistic disposition, genuine and without tartuffery, is an 
instinct for creating at least a secondary value for oneself in the 
service of other egoisms. Usually, however, altruism is only appar- 
ent; a detour to the preservation of one’s own feeling of vitality 
and value. 


786 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

History of Moralization and Dismoralization 

First proposition : There are no moral actions whatsoever: 
they are completely imaginary. Not only are they indemonstrable 
(which Kant, e.g., admitted, and Christianity as well) — they are 
altogether impossible. Through a psychological misunderstanding, 
one has invented an antithesis to the motivating forces, and be- 
lieves one has described another kind of force; one has imagined a 
primum mobile that does not exist at all. According to the valua- 
tion that evolved the antithesis “moral” and “immoral” in general, 
one has to say: there are only immoral intentions and actions. 

Second proposition: This entire distinction “moral” and “im- 
moral” proceeds from the idea that moral as well as immoral actions 
are acts arising from free spontaneity — -in short, that such a spon- 
taneity exists, or in other words: that moral judgments in general 
relate only to one species of intentions and actions, those that are 
free. But this whole species of intentions and actions is purely 
imaginary; the world to which alone the moral standard can be 
applied does not exist at all : — there are neither moral nor im- 
moral actions. 


* 

The psychological error out of which the antithetical concepts 
"moral” and “immoral” arose is: “selfless,” “unegoistic,” “self- 
denying” — all unreal, imaginary. 

False dogmatism regarding the “ego”: it is taken in an atom- 
istic sense, in a false antithesis to the “non-ego”; at the same time, 
pried out of becoming, as something that is a being. The false sub- 



414 


THE WILL TO POWER 


stantialization of the ego: (in the faith in individual immortality) 
this is made into an article of faith, especially under the influence 
of religio-moral training. After this artificial separation of the ego, 
and the declaration that it exists in and for itself, one confronted 
a value antithesis that seemed irrefutable: the single ego and the 
tremendous non-ego. It seemed evident that the value of the single 
ego could lie only in relating itself to the tremendous “non-ego” — 
being subject to it and existing for its sake. — Here the herd in- 
stincts were decisive: nothing is so contrary to this instinct as the 
sovereignty of the individual. But if the ego is conceived as some- 
thing in and for itself, then its value must lie in self-negation. 

Thus: 1. the false autonomy of the “individual,” as atom; 

2. the herd valuation, which abhors the desire to remain 
an atom and regards it as hostile; 

3. as a result: the individual overcome by moving his goal; 

4. now there seemed to be actions that were self-negating: one 
wove a whole sphere of fantastic antitheses about them; 

5. one asked: in what actions does man affirm himself most 
strongly? Around these (sexuality, avarice, lust to rule, cruelty, 
etc.) prohibition, hatred, and contempt were heaped: one believed 
there were unselfish drives, one condemned all the selfish ones, 
one demanded the unselfish; 

6. as a result: what had one done? One had placed a prohibi- 
tion upon all the strongest, most natural, indeed the only real drives 
— henceforth, in order to find an action praiseworthy, one had to 
deny the presence in it of such drives; — tremendous falsification 
in psychologies. Even any kind of “self-satisfaction” had first 
to be made possible by misunderstanding and construing oneself 
sub specie boni. Conversely: that species that derived its advantage 
from depriving man of his self-satisfaction (the representatives of 
the herd instinct; e.g., the priests and philosophers) became subtle 
and psychologically astute, so as to demonstrate how nonetheless 
selfishness ruled everywhere. Christian conclusion: "Everything 
is sin; even our virtues. Absolute reprehensibility of man. The 
unselfish action is not possible.” Original sin. In short: once man 
had made of his instincts an antithesis to a purely imaginary world 
of the good, he ended by despising himself as incapable of per- 
forming actions that were “good.” 

N.B. Christianity thus demonstrates an advance in the sharpen- 
ing of psychological insight: La Rochefoucauld and Pascal. It 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


415 


grasped the essential equivalence of human actions and their 
equivalence of value in essentials ( — all immoral). 

* 

Now one seriously set about the task of forming men in whom 
selfishness was dead: — priests, saints. And if one doubted the 
possibility of becoming “perfect,” one did not doubt that one 
knew what is perfect. 

The psychology of the saint, the priest, the “good man” 
naturally had to be purely phantasmagorical. One had declared 
the real motives of actions bad: in order still to be able to act at all, 
to prescribe actions, one had to describe as possible and as it were 
sanctify actions that are utterly impossible. With the falseness of 
one’s former slanders, one now honored and idealized. 

Rage against the instincts of life as “holy,” as venerable. 
Absolute chastity, absolute obedience, absolute poverty: the priestly 
ideal. Alms, pity, sacrifice , 121 denial of beauty, of reason, of sen- 
suality, a morose eye cast on all strong qualities one possessed: 
the lay ideal. 


# 

One advances: the slandered instincts, too, try to create a 
right for themselves (e.g., Luther’s Reformation: coarsest form 
of moral mendaciousness under the guise of “evangelical freedom”) 
—one rebaptized them with holy names; 

the slandered instincts try to prove themselves necessary for 
the existence of the virtuous instincts; one must vivre, pour vivre 
pour autrui : 122 egoism as means to an end; 

one goes further, one tries to grant both the egoistic and the 
altruistic impulses a right to exist: equal rights for the one as for 
the other (from the standpoint of utility); 

one goes further, one seeks a higher utility in a preference of 
the egoistic viewpoint over the altruistic: more useful in relation 
to the happiness of the majority or the progress of mankind, etc. 
Thus: a preponderance of the rights of egoism, but under the per- 
spective of extreme altruism (“collective utility for mankind”); 

one tries to reconcile the altruistic mode of action with natural- 
ness, one seeks altruism in the foundations of life; one seeks egoism 

111 Followed by an undeciphered word. 

“ Live to live for others. 




416 


THE WILL TO POWER 


and altruism as equally founded in the essence of life and nature; 

one dreams of a disappearance of the antithesis in some future, 
when, owing to continual adaptation, egoism will at the same time 
be altruism; 

finally, one grasps that altruistic actions are only a species of 
egoistic actions — and that the degree to which one loves, spends 
oneself, proves the degree of individual power and personality. 
In short, that when one makes men more evil, one makes them 
better — and that one cannot be one without being the other — At 
this point the curtain rises on the dreadful forgery of the psychol- 
ogy of man hitherto. 


* 

Consequences: there are only immoral intentions and actions; 
—the so-called moral ones must be shown to be immoral . 123 The 
derivation of all affects from the one will to power: the same 
essence. The concept of life: — in the apparent antithesis (of 
“good” and "evil”) degrees of power in instinct express them- 
selves, temporary orders of rank under which certain instincts 
are held in check or taken into service. — Justification of morality: 
economical, etc. 


* 

Against the second propostion. Determinism: attempt to 
rescue the moral world by transporting it — into the unknown. 
Determinism is only a modus of permitting ourselves to juggle 
our evaluations away once they have no place in a mechanistically 
conceived world. One must therefore attack determinism and 
undermine it: and also dispute our right to a distinction between 
a world in itself and a phenomenal world. 

787 ( 1883 - 1888 ) 

The absolute necessity of a total liberation from ends: other- 
wise we should not be permitted to try to sacrifice ourselves and 
let ourselves go. Only the innocence of becoming gives us the 
greatest courage and the greatest freedom! 


113 The following words are omitted in all editions: “This is the task 
of the tractatus politicus. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


417 


788 ( 1883-1888 ) 

To restore a good conscience to the evil man — has this been 
my unconscious endeavor? I mean, to the evil man in so far as he 
is the strong man? (Dostoevsky’s judgment on the criminals in 
prison should be cited here.) 

789 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Our new “freedom.” — What a feeling of freedom there is in 
feeling as we freed spirits do, that we are not harnessed to any 
system of “purposes”! Likewise, that the concepts “reward” and 
“punishment” do not reside in the essence of things! Likewise, that 
the good and the evil action cannot be called good and evil in 
themselves, but only in the perspective of what tends to preserve 
certain types of human communities! Likewise, that our assess- 
ments of pleasure and pain have no cosmic, let alone a meta- 
physical, significance! ( — that pessimism, the pessimism of Herr 
von Hartmann, who claims to put the pleasure and displeasure of 
existence itself on the scales, with his arbitrary incarceration in the 
pre-Copernican prison and field of vision, would be something 
retarded and regressive unless it is merely a bad joke of a Berliner.) 

790 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Once one is clear about the “why?” of one’s life, one can 
let its How? take care of itself. It is itself a sign of disbelief in a 
Why, in purpose and meaning, a sign of a lack of will, if the value 
of pleasure and displeasure step into the foreground and hedonistic- 
pessimistic theories get a hearing; and renunciation, resignation, 
virtue, and “objectivity” may at least be a sign that what matters 
most is beginning to be defective. 

791 (1885) 

Up to now there has not yet been any German culture. It is 
no objection to this statement that there have been great hermits 
in Germany (e.g., Goethe); for these had their own culture. But 
like mighty, defiant, solitary rocks, they were surrounded by 



418 


THE WILL TO POWER 


the rest of what was German as by their antithesis — a soft, marshy, 
insecure ground upon which every step from other countries made 
an “impression” and created a “form”: German culture was a 
thing without character, an almost limitless compliance. 

792 (1885) 

Germany, rich in clever and well-informed scholars, has 
lacked great souls, mighty spirits, to such an extent and for so 
long that it seems to have forgotten what a great soul, a mighty 
spirit, is; and today mediocre and quite ill-constituted men place 
themselves in the market square almost with a good conscience 
and without any embarrassment and praise themselves as great 
men and reformers, as, e.g., Eugen Diihring does — indeed a 
clever and well-informed scholar, but one who nevertheless 
betrays with almost every word he says that he harbors a petty 
soul and is tormented by narrow, envious feelings; also that what 
drives him is not a mighty, overflowing, benevolent, spendthrift 
spirit — but ambition! But to lust after honors in this age is even 
more unworthy of a philosopher than it was in any previous age: 
today, when the mob rules, when the mob bestows the honors! 

793 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

My "future ": — a rigorous polytechnic education. Military 
service; so that, on an average, every man of the higher classes 
would be an officer, whatever else he might be. 



IV. THE WILL TO POWER AS ART 


794 ( March-June 1888) 

Our religion, morality, and philosophy are decadence forms 
of man. 

The countermovement: art. 

795 (1885-1886)™* 

The arf/sf-philosopher. Higher concept of art. Whether a man 
can place himself so far distant from other men that he can form 
them? ( — Preliminary exercises: (1) he who forms himself, the 
hermit; (2) the artist hitherto, as a perfecter on a small scale, 
working on material.) 


796 ( 1885-1886 ) 

The work of art where it appears without an artist, e.g., as 
body, as organization (Prussian officer corps, Jesuit order). To 
what extent the artist is only a preliminary stage. 

The world as a work of art that gives birth to itself 

797 (1885-1886) 

The phenomenon “artist” is still the most transparent: — to 
see through it to the basic instincts of power, nature, etc.! Also 
those of religion and morality! 

“Play,” the useless — as the ideal of him who is overfull of 
strength, as “childlike.” The “childlikeness” of God, pais paizon. 123 

798 (March-June 1888) 

Apollinian — Dionysian , 126 — There are two conditions in 


*”1911, p. 511: "Contemporaneous with the beginning of work on 
Beyond Good and Evil, and initially planned as the continuation of the 
preface. 

“Line 1 : After The artist-philosopher’ the MS goes on: ‘(hitherto men- 
tioned scientific procedure, attitude to religion and politics).’ 

“In the margin, this comment on the whole aphorism: ‘here belongs 
the sequence of rank of the higher men, which must be described.' ” 

155 A child playing. 

"* With this and the following sections compare T wilight, “Skirmishes,” 
sections 8-11 ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 518-21). 




420 


THE WILL TO POWER 


which art appears in man like a force of nature and disposes of him 
whether he will or no: as the compulsion to have visions and as 
a compulsion to an orgiastic state. Both conditions are rehearsed 
in ordinary life, too, but weaker: in dream and in intoxication. 

But the same antithesis obtains between dream and intoxica- 
tion: both release artistic powers in us, but different ones: the 
dream those of vision, association, poetry; intoxication those of 
gesture, passion, song, dance. 

799 ( March-June 1888 ) 

In the Dionysian intoxication there is sexuality and volup- 
tuousness: they are not lacking in the Apollinian. There must also 
be a difference in tempo in the two conditions — The extreme 
calm in certain sensations of intoxication (more strictly: the 
retardation of the feelings of time and space) likes to be reflected 
in a vision of the calmest gestures and types of soul. The classical 
style is essentially a representation of this calm, simplification, 
abbreviation, concentration — the highest feeling of power is con- 
centrated in the classical type. To react slowly; a great con- 
sciousness; no feeling of struggle. 

800 ( March-June 1888 ) 

The feeling of intoxication, in fact corresponding to an in- 
crease in strength; strongest in the mating season: new organs, 
new accomplishments, colors, forms; “becoming more beautiful” is 
a consequence of enhanced strength. 127 Becoming more beautiful 
as the expression of a victorious will, of increased co-ordination, 
of a harmonizing of all the strong desires, of an infallibly per- 
pendicular stress. Logical and geometrical simplification is a 
consequence of enhancement of strength: conversely the apprehen- 
sion of such a simplification again enhances the feeling of 
strength — High point of the development: the grand style. 

Ugliness signifies the decadence of a type, contradiction and 
lack of co-ordination among the inner desires — signifies a decline in 
organizing strength, in “will,” to speak psychologically. 

The condition of pleasure called intoxication is precisely an 


The following words in the MS are omitted in all editions: “Becom- 
ing more beautiful as a necessary consequence of the enhancement of 
strength.” 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


421 


exalted feeling of power — The sensations of space and time are 
altered: tremendous distances are surveyed and, as it were, for the 
first time apprehended; the extension of vision over greater masses 
and expanses; the refinement of the organs for the apprehension 
of much that is extremely small and fleeting; divination, the power 
of understanding with only the least assistance, at the slightest 
suggestion: “intelligent” sensuality — ; strength as a feeling of 
dominion in the muscles, as suppleness and pleasure in movement, 
as dance, as levity and presto; strength as pleasure in the proof of 
strength, as bravado, adventure, fearlessness, indifference to life 
or death — All these climactic moments of life mutually stimulate 
one another; the world of images and ideas of the one suffices as 
a suggestion for the others: — in this way, states finally merge into 
one another though they might perhaps have good reason to 
remain apart. For example: the feeling of religious intoxication 
and sexual excitation ( — two profound feelings, co-ordinated to 
an almost amazing degree. What pleases all pious women, old 
or young? Answer: a saint with beautiful legs, still young, still 
an idiot) . Cruelty in tragedy and sympathy ( — also normally co- 
ordinated — ) Spring, dance, music: — all competitions between the 
sexes — and even that Faustian “infinity in the breast.” 

Artists, if they are any good, are (physically as well) strong, 
full of surplus energy, powerful animals, sensual; without a certain 
overheating of the sexual system a Raphael is unthinkable — • 
Making music is another way of making children; chastity is 
merely the economy of an artist — and in any event, even with 
artists fruitfulness ceases when potency ceases — Artists should 
see nothing as it is, but fuller, simpler, stronger: to that end, 
their lives must contain a kind of youth and spring, a kind of 
habitual intoxication. 


801 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

The states in which we infuse a transfiguration and fullness 
into things and poetize about them until they reflect back our 
fullness and joy in life: sexuality; intoxication; feasting; spring; 
victory over an enemy, mockery; bravado; cruelty; the ecstacy of 
religious feeling. Three elements principally: sexuality, intoxica- 
tion, cruelty — all belonging to the oldest festal joys of mankind, 
all also preponderate in the early “artist.” 

Conversely, when we encounter things that display this trans- 



422 


THE WILL TO POWER 


figuration and fullness, the animal responds with an excitation of 
those spheres in which all those pleasurable states are situated — 
and a blending of these very delicate nuances of animal well- 
being and desires constitutes the aesthetic state. The latter appears 
only in natures capable of that bestowing and overflowing fullness 
of bodily vigor; it is this that is always the primum mobile. The 
sober, the weary, the exhausted, the dried-up (e.g., scholars) can 
receive absolutely nothing from art, because they do not possess 
the primary artistic force, the pressure of abundance: whoever can- 
not give, also receives nothing. 

“Perfection”: in these states (in the case of sexual love 
especially) there is naively revealed what the deepest instinct 
recognizes as higher, more desirable, more valuable in gen- 
eral, the upward movement of its type; also toward what status 
it really aspires. Perfection: that is the extraordinary expansion 
of its feeling of power, riches, necessary overflowing of all 
limits. 


802 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Art reminds us of states of animal vigor; it is on the one 
hand an excess and overflow of blooming physicality into the 
world of images and desires; on the other, an excitation of the 
animal functions through the images and desires of intensified life; 
— an enhancement of the feeling of life, a stimulant to it. 

How can even ugliness possess this power? In so far as it 
still communicates something of the artist’s victorious energy which 
has become master of this ugliness and awfulness; or in so far as 
it mildly excites in us the pleasure of cruelty (under certain con- 
ditions even a desire to harm ourselves , self-violation — and thus 
the feeling of power over ourselves). 

803 ( 1883-1888 ) 

“Beauty” is for the artist something outside all orders of 
rank, because in beauty opposites are tamed; the highest sign of 
power, namely power over opposites; moreover, without tension: 
— that violence is no longer needed; that everything follows, obeys, 
so easily and so pleasantly — that is what delights the artist’s will 
to power. 



book THREE: Principles of A New Evaluation 


423 


804 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Origin of the beautiful and ugly . 1 '* 8 — Biological value of the 
beautiful and the ugly . — That which is instinctively repugnant to 
us, aesthetically, is proved by mankind’s longest experience to be 
harmful, dangerous, worthy of suspicion: the suddenly vocal 
aesthetic instinct (e.g., in disgust) contains a judgment. To this 
extent the beautiful stands within the general category of the 
biological values of what is useful, beneficent, life-enhancing — but 
in such a way that a host of stimuli that are only distantly associated 
with, and remind us only faintly of, useful thinp and states give 
us the feeling of the beautiful, i.e., of the increase of the feeling 
of power ( — not merely things, therefore, but also the sensations 
that accompany such things, or symbols of them). 

Thus the beautiful and the ugly are recognized as relative 
to our most fundamental values of preservation. It is senseless 
to want to posit anything as beautiful or ugly apart from this. The 
beautiful exists just as little as does the good, or the true. In every 
case it is a question of the conditions of preservation of a certain 
type of man: thus the herd man will experience the value feeling 
of the beautiful in the presence of different things than will the 
exceptional or over-man. 

It is the perspective of the foreground, which concerns itself 
only with immediate consequences, from which the value of the 
beautiful (also of the good, also of the true) arises. 

All instinctive judgments are shortsighted in regard to the 
chain of consequences: they advise what is to be done immediately. 
The understanding is essentially a brake upon immediate reactions 
on the basis of instinctive judgments: it retards, it considers, it 
looks further along the chain of consequences. 

Judgments concerning beauty and ugliness are shortsighted 
( — -they are always opposed by the understanding — ) but per- 
suasive in the highest degree; they appeal to our instincts where 
they decide most quickly and pronounce their Yes and No before 
the understanding can speak. 

The most habitual affirmations of beauty excite and stimulate 
each other; once the aesthetic drive is at work, a whole host of 
other perfections, originating elsewhere, crystallize around “the 

'“Title omitted in all editions, which substitute the following phrase. 



424 


the will to power 


particular instance of beauty.” It is not possible to remain objective, 
or to suspend the interpretive, additive, interpolating, poetizing 
power ( — the latter is the forging of the chain of affirmations of 
beauty). The sight of a “beautiful woman” — 

Thus 1. the judgment of beauty is shortsighted, it sees only 
the immediate consequences; 

2. it lavishes upon the object that inspires it a magic con- 
ditioned by the association of various beauty judgments — that are 
quite alien to the nature of that object. To experience a thing as 
beautiful means: to experience it necessarily wrongly — (which, 
incidentally, is why marriage for love is, from the point of view of 
society, the most unreasonable kind of marriage). 

805 ( 1883-1888 ) 

On the genesis of art. — That making perfect, seeing as per- 
fect, which characterizes the cerebral system bursting with sexual 
energy (evening with the beloved, the smallest chance occurrences 
transfigured, life a succession of sublime things, “the misfortune of 
the unfortunate lover worth more than anything else”): on the 
other hand, everything perfect and beautiful works as an un- 
conscious reminder of that enamored condition and its way of 
seeing — every perfection, all the beauty of things, revives through 
contiguity 128 * this aphrodisiac bliss. (Physiologically: the creative 
instinct of the artist and the distribution of semen in his blood — ) 
The demand for art and beauty is an indirect demand for the 
ecstasies of sexuality communicated to the brain. The world 
become perfect, through “love” — 

806 ( 1883-1888 ) 

Sensuality in its disguises: (1) as idealism (“Plato”), peculiar 
to youth, creating the same kind of concave image that the beloved 
in particuar assumes, imposing an encrustation, magnification, 
transfiguration, infinity upon everything — ; (2) in the religion of 
love: “a handsome young man, a beautiful woman,” somehow 
divine, a bridegroom, a bride of the soul — ; (3) in art, as the 
“embellishing” power: as man sees woman and, as it were, makes 
her a present of everything excellent, so the sensuality of the 
artist puts into one object everything else that he honors and 

IM * Nietzsche uses the English term, as in Genealogy III, section 4. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


425 


esteems — in this way he perfects an object (“idealizes” it). Woman, 
conscious of man’s feelings concerning women, assists his efforts at 
idealization by adorning herself, walking beautifully, dancing, 
expressing delicate thoughts: in the same way, she practices 
modesty, reserve, distance — realizing instinctively that in this 
way the idealizing capacity of the man will grow. ( — Given the 
tremendous subtlety of woman’s instinct, modesty remains by no 
means conscious hypocrisy: she divines that it is precisely an 
actual naive modesty that most seduces a man and impels him to 
overestimate her. Therefore woman is naive — from the subtlety of 
her instinct, which advises her of the utility of innocence. A 
deliberate closing of one’s eyes to oneself — Wherever dissembling 
produces a stronger effect when it is unconscious, it becomes 
unconscious.) 


807 ( Summer-Fall 1888 ) 

What a tremendous amount can be accomplished by that 
intoxication which is called “love” but which is yet something other 
than love! — But everyone has his own knowledge of this. The 
muscular strength of a girl increases as soon as a man comes into 
her vicinity; there are instruments to measure this. When the 
sexes are in yet closer contact, as, e.g., at dances and other social 
events, this strength is augmented to such a degree that real feats 
of strength are possible: in the end one scarcely believes one’s 
own eyes— or one’s watch. In such cases, to be sure, we must 
reckon with the fact that dancing in itself, like every other swift 
movement, brings with it a kind of intoxication of the whole 
vascular, nervous, and muscular system. So one has to reckon 
with the combined effects of a twofold intoxication. — And how 
wise it is at times to be a little tipsy! 

There are realities that one may never admit to oneself; after 
all, one is a woman; after all, one has a woman’s pudeurs — 
Those young creatures dancing over there are obviously beyond all 
reality: they are dancing with nothing but palpable ideals; what is 
more, they even see ideals sitting around them: the mothers! — 
Opportunity to quote Faust — They look incomparably better 
when they are a little tipsy like that, these pretty creatures — oh, 
how well they know that, too. They actually become amiable 
because they know it. 

Finally, they are also inspired by their finery; their finery is 



426 THE WILL TO POWER 

their third intoxication: they believe in their tailors as they believe 
in their God— and who would dissuade them from this faith? 
This faith makes blessedl And self-admiration is healthy! Self- 
admiration protects against colds. Has a pretty woman who knew 
herself to be well dressed ever caught cold? Never! I am even 
assuming that she was barely dressed. 128 

808 ( March-June 1888 ) 

Do you desire the most astonishing proof of how far the 
transfiguring power of intoxication can go? — “Love” is this 
proof: that which is called love in all the languages and silences 
of the world. In this case, intoxication has done with reality to 
such a degree that in the consciousness of the lover the cause of 
it is extinguished and something else seems to have taken its 
place — a vibration and glittering of all the magic mirrors of 
Circe — 

Here it makes no difference whether one is man or animal; 
even less whether one has spirit, goodness, integrity. If one is 
subtle, one is fooled subtly; if one is Coarse, one is fooled coarsely; 
but love, and even the love of God, the saintly love of “redeemed 
souls,” remains the same in its roots: a fever that has good 
reason to transfigure itself, an intoxication that does well to lie 
about itself — And in any case, one lies well when one loves, about 
oneself and to oneself: one seems to oneself transfigured, stronger, 
richer, more perfect, one is more perfect— Here we discover 
art as an organic function: we discover it in the most angelic 
instinct, “love”; we discover it as the greatest stimulus of life— art 
thus sublimely expedient even when it lies— 

But we should do wrong if we stopped With its power to 
lie: it does more than merely imagine; it even transposes values. 
And it is not only that it transposes the feeling of values: the lover 
is more valuable, is stronger. In animals this condition produces 
new weapons, pigments, colors, and forms; above all, new move- 
ments, new rhythms, new love calls and seductions. It is no 
different with man. His whole economy is richer than before, 


”* Cf. Twilight, “Maxims and Arrows," aphorism 25: “Contentment 
protects even against colds. Has a woman who knew herself to be well 
dressed ever caught cold? I am assuming that she was barely dressed.” 
( Portable Nietzsche, p. 470.) 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


427 


more powerful, more complete than in those who do not love. 
The lover becomes a squanderer: he is rich enough for it. Now he 
dares, becomes an adventurer, becomes an ass in magnanimity 
and innocence; he believes in God again, he believes in virtue, 
because he believes in love; and on the other hand, this happy 
idiot grows wings and new capabilities, and even the door of art is 
opened to him. If we subtracted all traces of this intestinal fever 
from lyricism in sound and word, what would be left of lyrical 
poetry and music? — L’art pour I’art perhaps: the virtuoso croaking 
of shivering frogs, despairing in their swamp— All the rest Was 
created by love — 


809 ( March-June 1888 ) 

All art exercises the power of suggestion over the muscles 
and senses, which in the artistic temperament are originally active: 
it always speaks only to artists — it speaks to this kind of a subtle 
flexibility of the body. The concept “layman” is an error. The deaf 
man is not a species of the man with good hearing. 

All art works tonically, increases strength, inflames desire 
(i.e., the feeling of strength), excites all the more subtle recollec- 
tions of intoxication — there is a special memory that penetrates 
such states: a distant and transitory world of sensations here 
comes back. 

The ugly, i.e., the contradiction to art, that which is excluded 
from art, its No — every time decline, impoverishment of life, 
impotence, disintegration, degeneration are suggested even faintly, 
the aesthetic man reacts with his No. The effect of the ugly is 
depressing: it is the expression of a depression. It takes away 
strength, it impoverishes, it weighs down — 

The ugly suggests ugly things; one can use one’s states of 
health to test how variously an indisposition increases the capacity 
for imagining ugly things. The selection of things, interests, and 
questions changes. A state closely related to the ugly is encountered 
in logic, too: heaviness, dimness. Mechanically speaking, equilib- 
rium is lacking: the ugly limps, the ugly stumbles: antithesis to 
the divine frivolity of the dancer. 

The aesthetic state possesses a superabundance of means of 
communication, together with an extreme receptivity for stimuli 
and signs. It constitutes the high point of communication and 



428 


THE WILL TO POWER 


transmission between living creatures — it is the source of languages. 
This is where languages originate: the languages of tone as well 
as the languages of gestures and glances. The more complete 
phenomenon is always the beginning: our faculties are subtilized 
out of more complete faculties. But even today one still hears with 
one’s muscles, one even reads with one’s muscles. 

Every mature art has a host of conventions as its basis— in 
so far as it is a language. Convention is the condition of great 
art, not an obstacle — 

Every enhancement of life enhances man’s power of com- 
munication, as well as his power of understanding. Empathy with 
the souls of others is originally nothing moral, but a physiological 
susceptibility to suggestion: “sympathy,” or what is called “altru- 
ism,” is merely a product of that psychomotor rapport which is 
reckoned a part of spirituality ( induction psycho-motrice, Charles 
F6re thinks). One never communicates thoughts: one communi- 
cates movements, mimic signs, which we then trace back to 
thoughts. 


810 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Compared with music all communication by words is shame- 
less; words dilute and brutalize; words depersonalize; words make 
the uncommon common. 

811 (March-June 1888) 

It is exceptional states that condition the artist- — all of them 
profoundly related to and interlaced with morbid phenomena — 
so it seems impossible to be an artist and not to be sick. 

Physiological states that are in the artist as it were molded 
into a “personality” and that characterize men in general to some 
degree: 

1. intoxication: the feeling of enhanced power; the inner need 
to make of things a reflex of one’s own fullness and perfection; 

2. the extreme sharpness of certain senses, so they under- 
stand a quite different sign language — and create one — the con- 
dition that seems to be a part of many nervous disorders — ; 
extreme mobility that turns into an extreme urge to communicate; 
the desire to speak on the part of everything that knows how to 
make signs — ; a need to get rid of oneself, as it were, through signs 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 429 

and gestures; ability to speak of oneself through a hundred speech 
media — an explosive condition. One must first think of this con- 
dition as a compulsion and urge to get rid of the exuberance of 
inner tension through muscular activity and movements of all 
kinds; then as an involuntary co-ordination between this move- 
ment and the processes within (images, thoughts, desires) — -as a 
kind of automatism of the whole muscular system impelled by 
strong stimuli from within—; inability to prevent reaction; the 
system of inhibitions suspended, as it were. Every inner move- 
ment (feeling, thought, affect) is accompanied by vascular changes 
and consequently by changes in color, temperature, and secretion. 
The suggestive power of music, its “suggestion mentale ”; — 

3. the compulsion to imitate : an extreme irritability through 
which a given example becomes contagious — a state is divined on 
the basis of signs and immediately enacted — An image, rising Up 
within, immediately turns into a movement of the limbs — a certain 
suspension of the will — (Schopenhauer!!!) A kind of deafness 
and blindness towards the external world — the realm of admitted 
stimuli is sharply defined. 

This is what distinguishes the artist from laymen (those 
susceptible to art): the latter reach the high; point of their 
susceptibility when they receive; the former as they give — so that 
an antagonism between these two gifts is not only natural but 
desirable. The perspectives of these two states are opposite: to 
demand of the artist that he should practice the perspective of the 
audience (of the critic — ) means to demand that he should 
impoverish himself and his creative power* — It is the same here 
as with the difference between the sexes: one ought not to demand 
of the artist, who gives, that he should become a woman — that 
he should receive. 

Our aesthetics hitherto has been a woman’s aesthetics to the 
extent that only the receivers of art have formulated their ex- 
perience of “what is beautiful?” In all philosophy hitherto the 
artist is lacking — 

This, as the foregoing indicates, is a necessary mistake; 
for the artist who began to understand himself would misunder- 
stand himself: he ought not to look back, he ought not to look 
at all, he ought to give. — 

It is to the honor of an artist if he is unable to be a critic — 
otherwise he is half and half, he is “modern.” 



430 


THE WILL TO POWER 


812 (March-1 une 1888 ) 

I set down here a list of psychological states as signs of a 
full and flourishing life that one is accustomed today to condemn 
as morbid. For by now we have learned better than to speak of 
healthy and sick as of an antithesis: it is a question of degrees. 
My claim in this matter is that what is today called “healthy” 
represents a lower level than that which under favorable circum- 
stances would be healthy-— that we are relatively sick — 

The artist belongs to a still stronger race. What would be 

harmful and morbid in us, in him is nature But one objects 

to us that it is precisely the impoverishment of the machine that 
makes possible extravagant powers of understanding of every kind 
of suggestion: witness our hysterical females. 

An excess of sap and force can bring with it symptoms of 
partial constraint, of sense hallucinations, susceptibility to sugges- 
tion, just as well as can impoverishment of life: the stimulus is 
differently conditioned, the effect remains the Same— But the after- 
effect is not the same; the extreme exhaustion of all morbid natures 
after their nervous eccentricities has nothing in common with the 
states of the artist, who does not have to atone for his good 
periods — He is rich enough for them: he is able to squander with- 
out becoming poor. 

As one may today consider “genius” as a form of neurosis, 
so perhaps also the artistic power of suggestion— and indeed our 
artists are painfully like hysterical females!!! But that is an objec- 
tion to “today,” not to “artists.” 

Inartistic states: those of objectivity, mirroring, suspended 
will — (Schopenhauer’s scandalous misunderstanding when he took 
art for a bridge to the denial of life) — Inartistic states: among 
those who become impoverished, withdraw, grow pale, under 
whose eyes life suffers: — the Christian. 

813 (1888) 

The modern artist, in his physiology next-of-kin tO the hys- 
teric, is also distinguished by this morbidity as a character. The 
hysteric is false— he lies from love of lying, he is admirable in 
every art of dissimulation — unless his morbid vanity plays a trick 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


43! 


on him. This vanity is like a continual fever that requires nar- 
cotics and does not shrink from any self-deception, any farce, that 
promises momentary relief. (Incapacity for pride and the continual 
need for revenge for a deeply ingrained self-contempt — this is 
almost the definition of this kind of vanity. ) 

The absurd irritability of his system, which turns all expe- 
riences into crises and introduces the “dramatic” into the smallest 
accidents of life, robs him of all calculability: he is no longer a 
person, at most a rendezvous of persons and now this one, now 
that one shoots forward with shameless assurance. Precisely for this 
reason, he is great as an actor: all these poor will-less people 
whom doctors study so closely astonish one with their virtuosity 
in mimicry, transfiguration, assumption of almost any desired 
character. 

814 {Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

Artists are not men of great passion, whatever they may like 
to tell us and themselves. And this for two reasons: they lack any 
sense of shame before themselves (they observe themselves while 
they live ; they spy on themselves, they are too inquisitive) and 
they also lack any sense of shame before great passion (they 
exploit it as artists). Secondly, however, their vampire, their talent, 
grudges them as a rule that squandering of force which one calls 
passion. — If one has a talent, one is also its victim: one lives 
under the vampirism of one’s talent. 

One does not get over a passion by representing it: rather, 
it is over when one is able to represent it. (Goethe teaches other- 
wise; but here it seems that he wanted to misunderstand himself — 
from delicatezza . 1S0 ) 


815 {Summer-Fall 1888 ) 

The rationale of life . — A relative chastity, a prudent caution 
on principle regarding erotic matters, even in thought, can belong 
to the grand rationale of life even in richly endowed and complete 
natures. This principle applies especially to artists, it is part of their 
best wisdom of life. Completely non-suspect voices have lent sup- 

Delicacy of feeling, tact — consideration for the women who had 
inspired him. 




432 THE WILL TO POWER 

port to this opinion: I name Stendhal and Th. Gautier, also 
Flaubert. The artist is perhaps necessarily a sensual man, generally 
excitable, susceptible in every sense to stimuli, meeting the very 
suggestion of a stimulus halfway even from afar. This notwith- 
standing, he is on the average, under the pressure of his task, of 
his will to mastery, actually moderate, often even chaste. His 
dominant instinct demands this of him: it does not permit him to 
expend himself in any casual way. The force that one expends in 
artistic conception is the same as that expended in the sexual act: 
there is only one kind of force. An artist betrays himself if he 
succumbs here, if he squanders himself here-, it betrays a lack of 
instinct, of will in general; it can be a sign of decadence- — in any 
case, it devalues his art to an incalculable degree. 131 

816 (March-June 1888 ) 

Compared with the artist, the appearance of the scientific 
man is actually a sign of a certain damming-up and lowering of 
the level of life (- — but also of strengthening, severity, hardness, 
will power). 

To what extent falsity, indifference to truth and utility may be 
signs of youth, of “childishness,” in an artist — Their habitual 
manner, their unreasonableness, their ignorance about themselves, 
their indifference to “eternal values,” their seriousness in “play”— 
their lack of dignity; buffoon and god side by side; saint and 
canaille — Imitation as an instinct, commanding. — Artists of 
ascending life — artists of declining life: do they not belong to all 
phases? — Yes! 132 


817 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

Would any link at all be missing in the chain of art and 
science if woman, if the works of women were missing? Admitting 
exceptions — they prove the rule— woman attains perfection in 
everything that is not a work: in letters, in memoirs, even in the 
most delicate handiwork, in short in everything that is not a 

1911, p. 512: “A second part of this aphorism, dealing with Richard 
Wagner, has been omitted.” This part will be found, in the facsimile pages, 
and in translation in the Appendix. 

J "Cf. section 339 above. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


433 


metier — precisely because in these things she perfects herself, be- 
cause she here obeys the only artistic impulse she has — she wants 
to please — 

But what has woman to do with the passionate indifference 
of the true artist, who assigns more importance to a sound, a 
breath, a heyday! 133 than to himself? who strains with every finger 
to reach his innermost secrets? who accords no value to anything 
that cannot become form ( — that cannot surrender itself, make 
itself public—) . Art as it is practiced by the artist— do you not 
grasp what it is: an attempt to assassinate all pudeurs7 13 * 

Only in this century has woman ventured to turn to literature 
(—vers la canaille plumiere ecrivassiere, 135 in the words of old 
Mirabeau): she dabbles in writing, she dabbles in art, she is los- 
ing her instincts. But why7 if one may ask. 

818 (Nov. 1887-March 1 888) 

One is an artist at the cost Of regarding that which all non- 
artists call “form” as content, as “the matter itself.” To be sure, 
then one belongs in a topsy-turvy world: for henceforth content 
becomes something merely formal — our life included. 

819 ( 1883-1888 ) 

A sense for and a delight in nuances ( — the real mark of 
modernity), in that which is not general, runs counter to the 
drive that delights and excels in grasping the typical : like the 
Greek taste of the best period. There is an overpowering of the 
fullness of life in it; measure becomes master; at bottom there is 
that calm of the strong soul that moves slowly and feels repug- 
nance toward what is too lively. The general rule, the law, is 
honored and emphasized : the exception, conversely, is set aside, 
the nuance obliterated. The firm, powerful, solid, the life that 
reposes broad and majestic and conceals its strength — that is what 
“pleases”; i.e., that corresponds to what one thinks of oneself. 


133 Hopsasa: Perhaps an allusion to Papageno in The Magic Flute. 

™ Cf. Twilight, “Maxims and Arrows,” aphorism 16 ( Portable Nietz- 
sche, p. 468). 

155 Toward the scribbling rabble. Cf. also Twilight, “Skirmishes,” section 
27 ( Portable Nietzsche, p. 531). 



434 


THE WILL TO POWER 


820 (1885) 

In the main, I agree more with the artists than with any 
philosopher hitherto: they have not lost the scent of life, they 
have loved the things of “this world” — they have loved their senses. 
To strive for “desensualization”: that seems to me a misunderstand- 
ing or an illness or a cure, where it is not merely hypocrisy or 
self-deception. I desire for myself and for all who live, may live, 
without being tormented by a puritanical conscience, an ever- 
greater spiritualization and multiplication of the senses; indeed, 
we should be grateful to the senses for their subtlety, plenitude, 
and power and offer them in return the best we have in the way 
of spirit. What are priestly and metaphysical calumnies against 
the senses to us! We no longer need these calumnies: it is a sign 
that one has turned out well when, like Goethe, one clings with 
ever-greater pleasure and warmth to the “things of this world”: — 
for in this way he holds firmly to the great conception of man, 
that man becomes the transfigurer of existence when he learns to 
transfigure himself. 188 


821 (March-June 1888 ) 

Pessimism in art ? — The artist gradually comes to love for 
their own sake the means that reveal a condition of intoxication: 
extreme subtlety and splendor of color, definiteness of line, nuances 
of tone: the distinct where otherwise, under normal conditions, 
distinctness is lacking. All distinct things, all nuances, to the extent 
that they recall these extreme enhancements of strength that intoxi- 
cation produces, awaken this feeling of intoxication by association: 
the effect of works of art is to excite the state that creates art — 
intoxication. 

What is essential in art remains its perfection of existence, its 
production of perfection and plenitude; art is essentially affirma- 
tion, blessing, deification of existence — What does a pessimistic 
art signify? Is it not a contradiction — Yes.— Schopenhauer is 
•wrong when he says that certain works of art serve pessimism. 
Tragedy does not teach “resignation” — To represent terrible and 
questionable things is in itself an instinct for power and magnifi- 

MS not in Nietzsche’s handwriting — evidently dictated by him — but 
then revised by his hand. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


435 


cence in an artist: he does not fear them — There is no such thing 
as pessimistic art — Art affirms. Job affirms. — But Zola? But the 
Goncourts? — • The things they display are ugly: but that they dis- 
play them comes from their pleasure in the ugly — It’s no good! 
If you think otherwise, you’re deceiving yourselves. — How liberat- 
ing is Dostoevsky! 


822 (1888) 

If my readers are sufficiently initiated into the idea that “the 
good man” represents, in the total drama of life, a form of exhaus- 
tion, they will respect the consistency of Christianity in conceiving 
the good man as ugly. Christianity was right in this. 

For a philosopher to say, “the good and the beautiful are 
one,” is infamy; if he goes on to add, "also the true,” one ought 
to thrash him. Truth is ugly. 

We possess art lest we perish of the truth. 

823 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The moralization of the arts . — Art as freedom from moral 
narrowness and comer-perspectives; or as mockery of them. Flight 
into nature, where its beauty is coupled with frightfulness. Con- 
ception of the great human being. 

— Fragile, useless luxury souls, troubled even by a breath, 
“beautiful souls.” 

— To awaken deceased ideals in all their merciless severity 
and brutaliy, as the most magnificent monsters they are. 

— A joyful delight in the psychological insight into the sinu- 
osity and unconscious play-acting of all moralized artists. 

— The falsity of art — to bring to light its immorality. 

— To bring to light “basic idealizing powers” (sensuality, 
intoxication, superabundant animality). 

824 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 197 

Modem counterfeiting in the arts: regarded as necessary, 
namely as corresponding to the most characteristic needs of the 
modern soul. 

One plugs the gaps of talent, even more the gaps in edu- 
cation, tradition, schooling. 


131 Utilized in The Case of Wagner. 




436 


THE WILL TO POWER 


First: one seeks for oneself a less artistic public, which loves 
unconditionally ( — and soon kneels down before the 
person ). The superstition of our century, the superstitious 
belief in the “genius,” helps. 

Second: one harangues the obscure instincts of the dissatis- 
fied, ambitious, self-disguised spirits in a democratic age: 
importance of poses. 

Third; one transfers the procedures of one art to the other 
arts, confounds the objectives of art with those of knowl- 
edge or the church or racial interests (nationalism) or 
philosophy — one pulls all the stops at once and awakens 
the dark suspicion that one may be a god. 

Fourth: One flatters women, sufferers, the indignant, one 
makes narcotics and opiates dominant in art, too. One 
tickles the cultured, readers of poets and ancient stories. 

825 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The division into “public hall” and “private chamber”; in the 
former one has to be a charlatan today, in the latter one is deter- 
mined to be a virtuoso and nothing more! The specific “genius” 
of our century spans this division, is great in both: the great 
charlatanry of Victor Hugo and Richard Wagner, but coupled 
with so much genuine virtuosity that they satisfied even the most 
refined artistic connoisseurs. Hence their lack of greatness: their 
perspective was continually changing, now directed to the coarsest 
demands, now to the most refined. 

826 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

False “intensification": 1. in romanticism: this constant 
Espressivo is no sign of strength but of a feeling of deficiency; 

2. picturesque music, so-called dramatic music, is above all 
easier (as is the brutal colportage and the enumeration of faits 
and traits 138 in the naturalistic novel) ; 

3. “passion” a matter of nerves and wearied souls; like the 
delight in high mountains, deserts, storms, orgies, and horrors — 
in the bulky and massive (e.g., on the part of historians); there 
actually exists a cult of orgies of feeling ( — how does it happen 


la Facts and traits. 




BOOK THREE: Principles of A New Evaluation 


437 


that strong ages have an opposite need in art — a need for a realm 
beyond passion?) 

4. preference for exciting material (erotica or socialistica or 
pathologica) : all signs that show for whom one is working today: 
for the overworked and absent-minded or enfeebled. 

One has to tyrannize in order to produce any effect at all. 139 

827 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Modern art as an art of tyrannizing— — A coarse and 
strongly defined logic of delineation; motifs simplified to the point 
of formulas; the formula tyrannizes. Within the delineations a 
wild multiplicity, an overwhelming mass, before which the senses 
become confused; brutality in color, material, desires. Examples: 
Zola, Wagner; in a more spiritual order, Taine. Thus: logic, mass 
and brutality. 


828 ( 1883-1888 ) 

In regard to painters: tous ces modernes sont des poetes qui 
ont voulu etre peintres. L’un a cherche des drames dans Vhistoire, 
V autre des seines de moeurs, celui-ci traduit des religions, celui-la 
une philosophic. 1 * 0 One imitates Raphael, another the early Italian 
masters; landscape artists employ trees and clouds to make odes 
and elegies. No one is simply a painter; all are archaeologists, 
psychologists, theatrical producers of this or that recollection or 
theory. They enjoy our erudition, our philosophy. Like us, they 
are full and overfull of general ideas. They like a form, not for 
the sake of what it is, but for the sake of what it expresses. They 
are sons of a scholarly, tormented, and reflective generation — a 
thousand miles removed from the old masters, who did not read 
and only thought of feasting their eyes. 

829 (1888) 

Fundamentally, even Wagner’s music is still literature, no 
less than the whole of French romanticism: the charm of exoticism 

’"Clearly, this section is largely about Wagner, but not only about 
him; see the next section. 

’"All these moderns are poets who have wished to be painters. One 
has looked for dramas in history, another for scenes of manners; this one 
transposes religions, that one a philosphy. 




438 


THE WILL TO POWER 


(strange times, customs, passions), exercised on sentimental stay- 
at-homes. The delight of entering the vastly distant foreign pre- 
historic land, accessible only through books, and of finding the 
whole horizon painted with new colors and possibilities — 

The intuition of yet more distant, unexplored worlds; dis- 
dain for the boulevards — For nationalism, let us not deceive our- 
selves, is merely another form of exoticism — 

Romantic musicians relate what exotic books have made of 
them: one would like to experience exotic things, passions after 
the Florentine and Venetian taste: in the end one contents one- 
self with seeking them in pictures— The essential thing is the type 
of new desire, the wish to imitate and to experience the lives of 
others, disguise, dissimulation of the soul — Romantic art is only 
a makeshift substitute for a defective “reality.” 

The attempt to do new things: revolution, Napoleon. Napo- 
leon, the passion of new possibilities of the soul, an expansion of 
the soul. 

Weariness of will; all the greater excesses in the desire to 
feel, imagine, and dream new things — consequence of the excesses 
one has experienced: hunger for excessive feelings— Foreign 
literatures offered the strongest spices. 

830 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Winckelmann’s and Goethe’s Greeks, Victor Hugo’s orientals, 
Wagner’s Edda characters, Walter Scott’s Englishmen of the thir- 
teenth century — some day the whole comedy will be exposed! it 
was all historically false beyond measure, but — modern. 141 

831 (Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Toward a characterization of national genius in relation to 
what is foreign and borrowed: — 

The English genius coarsens and makes natural everything it 
takes up; 

the French makes thin, simplifies, logicizes, adorns; 
the German confuses, compromises, confounds and moral- 
izes; 

the Italian has made by far the freest and subtlest use of 
what it has borrowed, and introduced a hundred times more into 

141 1911, p. 512: “Last line, another reading: ‘modern, true.”’ 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 439 

it than it took out of it: as the richest genius which had the most 
to bestow. 


832 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

The Jews approached genius in the sphere of art with Hein- 
rich Heine and Offenbach, this most gifted and high-spirited satyr, 
who as a musician clung to the great tradition and who is for 
those who have more than mere ears a real liberation from the 
sentimental and at bottom degenerate musicians of German roman- 
ticism. 


833 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

Offenbach: 'French music with the spirit of Voltaire, free, 
high-spirited, with a little sardonic grin, but bright, clever almost 
to the point of banality ( — he does not use make-up — ) and with- 
out the mignardise 142 of morbid or blond-Viennese sensuality. 


834 (1884) 

If one understands by artistic genius the greatest freedom 
under the law, divine frivolity, facility in the hardest things, then 
Offenbach has even more right to the name “genius” than Wagner. 
Wagner is heavy and ponderous: nothing is more foreign to him 
than moments of the most high-spirited perfection, such as this 
buffoon Offenbach achieves five or six times in almost every one 
of his buffooneries. 143 But perhaps one might understand some- 
thing else by the word genius. 144 — 

835 (1885-1886) 

For the chapter “Music .” 1 ™ — German and French and Italian 


142 Affectation. 

MJ For Nietzsche’s praise of the buffoon ( Hanswurst ) in his last books, 
see my Nietzsche, Chapter 13, section III. 

“*1911, p. 512: These lines were "taken from a note about Richard 
Wagner." This note is included in the facsimile pages and in translation in 
the Appendix. 

)4S In the MS: “A chapter ‘Music’! — The doctrine of ‘intoxication’ 
(enumeration, e.g., worship of petits fails)." Also according to 1911, p. 512, 
this section was originally intended for Beyond Good and Evil; but cf. also 
The Case of Wagner. 




440 


THE WILL TO POWER 


music. (Our lowest periods politically the most fruitful. The 
Slavs?) — The cultural-historical ballet: has overcome opera. — 
Actors’ music and musicians’ music. — An error that what Wagner 
created was a form: — it was formlessness. The possibility of a 
dramatic construction has still to be discovered. — Rhythm. “Ex- 
pression” at any cost. — In praise of Carmen. — In praise of 
Heinrich Schiitz (and the “Liszt Society” — ) — Whorish instru- 
mentation.— In praise of Mendelssohn: an element of Goethe in 
him arid nowhere else! (just as another element of Goethe came to 
perfection in Rahel; 140 a third in Heinrich Heine.) 147 

836 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Descriptive music; leave it to reality to be effective — All 
these kinds of art are easier, more imitable; the poorly gifted em- 
ploy them. Appeal to the instincts; art with the power of suggestion. 

837 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

On our modern music.— The decay of melody is the same as 
the decay of the “idea,” of dialectic, of freedom of the most spirit- 
ual activity— a piece of clumsiness and constipation that is develop- 
ing to new heights of daring and even to principles; — finally* one 
has only the principles of one’s talents, one’s narrowmindedness 
of a talent. 

“Dramatic music” nonsense! It is simply bad music — “Feel- 
ing,” “passion” as surrogates when one no longer knows how to 
achieve an exalted spirituality and the happiness that attends it 
(e.g., that of Voltaire). Technically, “feeling” and “passion” are 
easier — they presuppose much poorer artists. Recourse to drama 
betrays that an artist is more a master of false means than of 
genuine means. We have dramatic painting, dramatic lyrics, etc. 

838 (1888) 

We lack in music an aesthetic that would impose laws on 
musicians and give them a conscience; we lack, as a consequence, 

’"Rahel von Varnhagen (1771-1833): her salon was a great cultural 
center in Berlin. 

Mendelssohn, Rahel, and Heine — and Offenbach (see sections 832-34) 
were of Jewish descent, while Wagner was a rabid anti-Semite. 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 441 

a genuine conflict over “principles” — for as musicians we laugh at 
Herbart’s velleities in this realm as much as we do at Schopen- 
hauer’s. In fact, this results in a great difficulty: we no longer 
know on what basis to found the concepts “model,” “mastery,” 
“perfection” — we grope blindly in the realm of values with the 
instinct of old love and admiration; we come close to believing 
“what is good is what pleases us " — 

It awakens my mistrust when Beethoven is everywhere quite 
innocently described as a “classicist”: I would strictly maintain 
that in the other arts one understands by a classicist an artist of 
the opposite type of Beethoven’s. But when even the complete and 
obvious disintegration of style in Wagner, his so-called dramatic 
style, is taught and honored as “exemplary,” as “mastery,” as 
“progress,” my impatience reaches its height. The dramatic style 
in music, as Wagner understands it, is the renunciation of style in 
general, on the presupposition that something else is a hundred 
times more important than music, namely the drama. Wagner can 
paint, he employs music for something other than music, he empha- 
sizes poses, he is a poet; finally, he appealed to “beautiful feelings” 
and “heaving bosoms” like all artists of the theater — and with 
all this he won over the women and even those in need of culture: 
but what is music to women and those in need of culture! They 
have no conscience for art; they do not suffer when all the princi- 
pal and most indispensable virtues of an art are trampled under foot 
and mocked for the benefit of secondary objectives (as ancilla 1 * 6 
dramaturgica ) . What is the point of extending the means of expres- 
sion if that which expresses, art itself, has lost the law of its being! 
The picturesque pomp and power of tones, the symbolism of 
sound, rhythm, colors of harmony and disharmony, the suggestive 
significance of music, the whole sensuality of music which Wagner 
has brought into dominance — all this Wagner recognized in music, 
drew out of it, developed. Victor Hugo did something similar to 
language; but already today the French are asking themselves 
whether, in Hugo’s case, it was not a corruption of language — 
whether, with the increase of sensuality in language, reason, spirit- 
uality, the profound obedience to law in language have not been de- 
pressed? That the poets in France have become sculptors, that the 
musicians in Germany have become actors and culture-mongers — 
are these not signs of decadence? 


Handmaid. 



442 


THE WILL TO POWER 


839 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev . Spring-Fall 1888) 

Today we have a musical pessimism, even among the non- 
musical. Who has not met him, who has not cursed him — the 
wretched youth who tortures his piano into cries of despair, who 
single-handed heaves forward the mud of the gloomiest gray-brown 
harmonies? This identifies one as a pessimist — But whether this 
also identifies one as a musician? I cannot be made to think so. 
The Wagnerian pur sang li0 is unmusical; he succumbs to the ele- 
mental powers of music somewhat as a woman succumbs to the 
will of her hypnotist — and in order to be able to do this, he must 
not be made suspicious by a severe and subtle conscience in rebus 
musicis et music antibus}™ I said “somewhat as” — ; but perhaps 
we have more than a metaphor here. Consider the means for pro- 
ducing effects that Wagner prefers to use ( — and had for the most 
part to invent for himself): they are strangely similar to those 
with which a hypnotist achieves his effect ( — his choice of tempo 
and tonal color for his orchestra; the repellent avoidance of logic 
and squareness in his rhythm; the lingering, soothing, mysterious, 
hysterical quality of his “endless melody”). — And is the condi- 
tion to which the Lohengrin prelude, for example, reduces its hear- 
ers, especially women, essentially different from a somnambulistic 
trance? — 

I heard an Italian woman who had just listened to the prelude 
in question say, with those entranced eyes that Wagneriennes know 
how to affect: “come si dorme con questa musical’’ 161 

840 {March-1 une 1888) 

Religion in music. — How much unadmitted and even un- 
comprehended satisfaction of all religious needs is still to be found 
in Wagnerian music! How much prayer, virtue, unction, “virginity,” 
“redemption” speak through it! — That music may dispense with 
words and concepts — oh what advantage she derives from that fact, 
this cunning saint, who leads and seduces back to all that was for- 

lw Of pure blood. 

J “ In matters of music and musicians. 

How one sleeps with this music! 

“Squareness” in the preceding paragraph: Quadratur. 

All of these notes on Wagner should be compared with The Case of 
Wagner. 



book THREE: Principles of A New Evaluation 


443 


merly believed! — Our intellectual conscience has no need to feel 
ashamed — it remains outside — when some ancient instinct or other 
drinks with trembling lips from forbidden cups — This is shrewd, 
healthy and, in so far as it betrays shame at the satisfaction of the 
religious instinct, even a good sign — Underhand Christianity: type 
of the music of “Wagner’s final period.” 

841 ( March-June 1888)™ 

I distinguish between courage in the face of people, courage in 
the face of things, and courage in the face of paper. The latter 
was, e.g., the courage of David Strauss. I distinguish further be- 
tween courage before witnesses and courage without witnesses: the 
courage of a Christian, of a believer in God in general, can never 
be courage without witnesses — this fact alone degrades it. I dis- 
tinguish, finally, courage rooted in temperament and courage rooted 
in fear of fear: a particular instance of the latter type is moral 
courage. There should also be added courage from despair.' 

Wagner possessed this kind of courage. His situtaion regard- 
ing music was, at bottom, desperate. He lacked the two things 
needed to make a good musician: nature and culture, a predis- 
position toward music and training and schooling in music. He 
possessed courage: he made a principle of what he lacked — he 
invented a style of music for himself. “Dramatic music,” as in- 
vented by him, is the music he was capable of making — Wagner’s 
limitations define this concept. 

And he was misunderstood! — Was he misunderstood? — 
Five-sixths of modem artists are in this position. Wagner is their 
savior; five-sixths is in any case the “lowest estimate.” In every 
instance in which nature has shown herself inexorable and in 
which on the other hand culture has remained accidental, tenta- 
tive, dilettante, the artist turns instinctively — what am I saying? — 
enthusiastically to Wagner: “half did he drag him, half he sank,” 
as the poet says. 153 


842 ( March-June 1888 ) 

“Music" — and the grand style . — The greatness of an artist 

’“1911, p. 512: “From a larger draft used in The Case of Wagner.” 

155 Goethe, “Der Fischer,” penultimate line: halb zog sie ihn, halb sank 
er hin. Nietzsche changes sie to er. 



444 


THE WILL TO POWER 


cannot be measured by the “beautiful feelings” he arouses: leave 
that idea to females. But according to the degree to which he 
approaches the grand style, to which he is capable of the grand 
style. This style has this in common with great passion, that it 
disdains to please; that it forgets to persuade; that it commands; 
that it wills — To become master of the chaos one is; to compel 
one’s chaos to become form: to become logical, simple, unam- 
biguous, mathematics, law — that is the grand ambition here. — It 
repels; such men of force are no longer loved — a desert spreads 
around them, a silence, a fear as in the presence of some great 
sacrilege — All the arts know such aspirants to the grand style: 
why are they lacking in music? No musician has yet built as that 
architect did who created the Palazzo Pitti — Here lies a problem. 
Does music perhaps belong to that culture in which the domain 
of men of force of all kinds has ceased? Does the concept grand 
style ultimately stand in contradiction to the soul of music — to 
the “woman” in our music? — 

I here touch upon a cardinal question: where does our entire 
music belong? The ages of classical taste knew nothing to com- 
pare with it: it began to blossom when the Renaissance world 
had attained its evening, when “freedom” had departed from 
morals and even from men: — is it part of its character to be 
counter-Renaissance? Is it the sister of the Baroque style, since 
it is in any case its contemporary? Is music, modern music, not 
already decadence? — 

Once before I pointed to this question: whether our music is 
not a piece of counter-Renaissance in art? whether it is not next- 
of-kin to the Baroque style? whether it has not grown up in con- 
tradiction to all classical taste, so that all ambitions to become 
classical are forbidden to it by its nature? 

The answer to this first-rank question of values would not 
remain in doubt if the proper inferences had been drawn from the 
fact that music achieved its greatest ripeness and fullness as roman- 
ticism — once again as a movement of reaction against classicism. 

Mozart — a delicate and amorous soul, but entirely eighteenth 
century, even when he is serious. — Beethoven the first great 
romantic, in the sense of the French conception of romanticism, 
as Wagner is the last great romantic — both instinctive opponents 
of classical taste, of severe style — to say nothing of “grand” style. 



book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


445 


843 (March-June 1888 ) 

Romanticism: an ambiguous question, like everything modem. 
The aesthetic states twofold. 

The full and bestowing as opposed to the seeking, desiring. 
844 ( 1885-1886 ) 

A romantic is an artist whose great dissatisfaction with him- 
self makes him creative — who looks away, looks back from him- 
self and from his world. 


845 ( 1885-1886 ) 

Is art a consequence of dissatisfaction with realityl Or an 
expression of gratitude for happiness enjoyed! In the former case, 
romanticism; in the latter, aureole and dithyramb (in short, art of 
apotheosis) : Raphael, too, belongs here; he merely had the falsity 
to deify what looked like the Christian interpretation of the world. 
He was grateful for existence where it was not specifically Christian. 

The moral interpretation makes the world unbearable. Chris- 
tianity was the attempt to “overcome” the world by it; i.e., to 
negate it. In praxi, such a murderous attempt of insanity — an 
insane self-elevation of man above the world — resulted in making 
man gloomy, small, and impoverished: only the most mediocre 
and harmless type of man, the herd type, profited by it, was 
advanced by it, if you like. 

Homer as an artist of apotheosis', Rubens also. Music has not 
yet had one. 

The idealization of the man of great sacrilege (a sense of his 
greatness) is Greek; 151 depreciation, slandering, contempt for the 
sinner is Judeo-Christian. 

846 ( 1885-1886 ) 

What is romanticism ? — In regard to all aesthetic values, I 
now employ this fundamental distinction: I ask in each individual 
case “has hunger or superabundance become creative here?” At 

1H Cf. Prometheus and'lVie Birth of Tragedy, section 9. 




446 


THE WILL TO POWER 


first sight, another distinction might seem more plausible — it is 
far more obvious — namely the distinction whether the desire for 
rigidity, eternity, "being” has been the cause of creation, or rather 
the desire for destruction, for change, for becoming. But both 
kinds Of desire prove, when examined more closely, to be ambigu- 
ous arid interpretable according to the scheme mentioned above, 
which, I think, is to be preferred. 

The desire for destruction, change, becoming can be the 
expression of an overfull power pregnant with the future (my term 
for this, as is known, is the word “Dionysian”); but it can also 
be the hatred of the ill-constituted, disinherited, underprivileged, 
which destroys, has to destroy, because what exists, indeed exist- 
ence itself, alt being itself, enrages and provokes it. 

“Eternalization,” on the other hand, can proceed from grati- 
tude and love — an art of this origin will always be an art of 
apotheosis, dithyrambic perhaps with Rubens, blissful with Hafiz, 
bright and gracious with Goethe, and shedding a Homeric aureole 
over all things — but it can also be that tyrannic will of a great 
sufferer who would like to forge what is most personal, individual, 
and narrow — most idiosyncratic — in his suffering, into a binding 
law and compulsion, taking revenge on all things, as it were, by 
impressing, forcing, and branding into them his image, the image 
of his torture. The latter is romantic pessimism in its most expres- 
sive form, whether as Schopenhauerian philosophy of will or as 
Wagnerian music. 106 


847 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

Whether behind the antithesis classic and romantic there does 
not lie hidden the antithesis active and reactive? — 

848 ( Spring-Fall 1887) 

To be classical, one must possess all the strong, seemingly 
contradictory gifts and desires — but in such a way that they go 
together beneath one yoke; arrive at the right time to bring to its 
climax and high point a genus of literature or art or politics (not 


’"This section was used in Book V of The Gay Science (1887), section 
370, which was later included also in Nietzsche contra Wagner under the 
heading “We Antipodes” ( Portable Nietzsche, pp. 669-71). 




book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


447 


after this has already happened — ); reflect a total state (of a 
people or a culture) in one’s deepest and innermost soul, at a 
time when it still exists and has not yet been overpainted with 
imitations of foreign things (or when it is still dependent — ); 
and one must not be a reactive but a concluding and forward- 
leading spirit, saying Yes in all cases, even with one’s hatred. 

“Is the highest personal value not part of it?” — To consider 
perhaps whether moral prejudices are not playing their game here 
and whether great moral loftiness is not perhaps in itself a contra- 
diction of the classical ? 156 — Whether the moral monsters must 
not necessarily be romantics, in word and deed? — Precisely such 
a preponderance of one virtue over the others (as in the case of 
a moral monster) is hostile to the classical power of equilibrium: 
supposing one possessed this loftiness and was nonetheless classi- 
cal, then we could confidently infer that one also possessed im- 
morality of the same level: possibly the case of Shakespeare 
(assuming it was really Lord Bacon). 15 ’ 

849 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Future things . — Against the romanticism of great “ pas- 
sion .” — To grasp that a quantum of coldness, lucidity, hardness 
is part of all “classical” taste: logic above all, happiness in spiritu- 
ality, “three unities,” concentration, hatred for feeling, heart, 
esprit, hatred for the manifold, uncertain, rambling, for intimations, 
as well as for the brief, pointed, pretty, good-natured. One should 
not play with artistic formulas: one should remodel life so that 
afterward it has to formulate itself. 

It is an amusing comedy at which we have only now learned 
to laugh, which we only now see: that the contemporaries of 
Herder, Winckelmann, Goethe, and Hegel claimed to have redis- 
covered the classical ideal — and at the same time Shakespeare! — 
And the same generation had meanly repudiated the French classi- 
cal school! as if the essential things could not have been learned 
here as well as there! — But one desired “nature,” “naturalness”: 
oh stupidity! One believed that classicism was a kind of natural- 
ness! 


1M At this point all editions omit the words: “To ‘mediterraneanize’ 
music — that is my slogan.” 

Cf. Ecce Homo, “Why I am so clever,” section 4. 



448 


THE WILL TO POWER 


To think through, without prejudice or indulgence, in what 
soil a classical taste can grow. Hardening, simplification, strength- 
ening, making man more evil: these belong together. Logical- 
psychological simplification. Contempt for detail, complexity, the 
uncertain. 

The romantics in Germany do not protest against classicism, 
but against reason, enlightenment, taste, the eighteenth century. 

The sensibility of romantic-Wagnerian music: antithesis of 
classical sensibility. 

The will to unity (because unity tyrannizes — namely over 
the listener, spectator); but inability to tyrannize over oneself 
concerning the main thing — namely in regard to the work Itself 
(omitting, shortening, clarifying, simplifying). Overwhelming 
through masses (Wagner, Victor Hugo, Zola, Taine). 

850 ( Spring-Fall 1887 ) 

The nihilism of artists . — Nature cruel in her cheerfulness; 
cynical in her sunrises. We are enemies of sentimental emotions. 
We flee to where nature moves our senses and our imagination; 
where we have nothing to love, where we are not reminded of the 
moral semblances and delicacies of this northerly nature — and the 
same is the case in the arts. We prefer that which no longer re- 
minds us of “good and evil.” Our moralistic susceptibility to 
stimuli and pain is, as it were, redeemed by a terrible and happy 
nature, in the fatalism of the senses and forces. Life without good- 
ness. 

The benefit consists in the contemplation of nature’s magnifi- 
cent indifference to good and evil. 

No justice in history, no goodness in nature: that is why the 
pessimist, if he is an artist, goes in historicis 158 to those places 
where the absence of justice itself is revealed with splendid naivete, 
where perfection comes into view — and also in nature, to those 
places where her evil and indifferent character is not disguised, 
where she exhibits the character of perfection — The nihilistic 
artist betrays himself in willing and preferring cynical history, 
cynical nature. 

IM In historical matters. 

Nietzsche’s repeated emphasis on the magnificent indifference of nature 
invites comparison with the conclusion of Camus’ The Stranger; indeed this 
whole section — and not only this section — may have left its mark on Camus. 
Note also Nietzsche’s frequent use of the word “absurd.” 


book three: Principles of A New Evaluation 


449 


851 (Jan.-Fall 1888 ) 

What is tragic? — On repeated occasions I have laid my 
finger on Aristotle’s great misunderstanding in believing the tragic 
affects to be two depressive affects, terror and pity. If he were 
right, tragedy would be an art dangerous to life: one would have 
to warn against it as notorious and a public danger. Art, in other 
cases the great stimulant of life, an intoxication with life, a will to 
life, would here, in the service of a declining movement and as it 
were the handmaid of pessimism, become harmful to health 
( — for that one is “purged” of these affects through their arousal, 
as Aristotle seems to believe, is simply not true). Something that 
habitually arouses terror or pity disorganizes, weakens, discour- 
ages — and supposing Schopenhauer were right that one should 
learn resignation from tragedy (i.e., a gentle renunciation of 
happiness, hope, will to life), then this would be an art in which 
art denies itself. Tragedy would then signify a process of disinte- 
gration: the instinct for life destroying itself through the instinct 
for art. Christianity, nihilism, tragic art, physiological decadence — 
these would go hand in hand, come into predominance at the 
same time, assist one another forward — downward— Tragedy 
would be a symptom of decline. 

One can refute this theory in the most cold-blooded way: 
namely, by measuring the effects of a tragic emotion with a 
dynamometer. And one would discover as a result what ultimately 
only the absolute mendaciousness of a systematizer could mis- 
understand — that tragedy is a tonic. If Schopenhauer did not want 
to grasp this, if he posited a general depression as the tragic con- 
dition, if he suggested to the Greeks ( — who to his annoyance did 
not “resign themselves” — ) that they had not attained the highest 
view of the world — that is parti pris, logic of a system, counter- 
feit of a systematizer: one of those dreadful counterfeits that ruined 
Schopenhauer’s whole psychology, step by step ( — arbitrarily and 
violently, he misunderstood genius, art itself, morality, pagan reli- 
gion, beauty, knowledge, and more or less everything) . 

852 ( Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888 ) 

The tragic artist. 159 — It is a question of strength (of an 

“* This title does not appear in this place in the MS, but was taken by 
the German editors from one of Nietzsche’s lists of his sections. 




450 


THE WILL TO POWER 


individual or of a people), whether and where the judgment “beau- 
tiful” is applied. The feeling of plenitude, of dammed-up strength 
(which permits one to meet with courage and good-humor much 
tha